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]L I 3 Tl A^ IR Y 

Theological Seminary, 



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j Shelf Section.... 

! Book Ka- 














IT is right that the reader should be in- 
formed that this Work is the substance of 
Sermons delivered at the Lecture founded 
by the Honourable Robert Boyle, in the 
years 1736, 1737, 1738. 

It is reprinted from the London edition, 




THE Prefatory Discourse _ _ _ _ 1 

The Introduction and scheme - - - - 13 


A short view of the facts contained in the History of the 
Acts, with some natural reflections thence arising 27 


What is written in the History of the Acts of the ordinary 
occurrences of that time, and of the great persons therein 
named, confirmed from other authors - - 37 


A further account of the occurrences of the time, and of 
the persons named _ _ - _ _ 51 


How far the various distinctions of the Jews, which happen 
to be spoken of in the Acts, are confirmed by other 
authors _______ 76 


How far the Jewish customs referred to are confirmed 95 


The Jewish magistrates in Judaea, when under the Ro- 
mans, had the power of inflicting capital punishments 113 


The Introduction to this _ . _ _ 113 

Sect. I. An answer to the first argument against it, 
taken from the civil law - - - - 116 

Sect. II. The second and third arguments, taken 
from the civil law, answered _ _ _ 124 

Sect. III. The principal argument, taken from the 
New Testament, answered _ - _ - 130 

Sect. IV. An answer to two other arguments taken 
from the New Testament _ _ _ _ 142 

Sect. V. The Romans frequently indulged the na- 
tions they conquered in the use of their own laws, even 
in capital cases - - - - - - 145 

Sect. VI. The Romans were peculiarly favourable to 
the Jews, and allowed them singular privileges in all 
parts of the empire ----- 164 

Sect. VII. The Jews petitioned the emperor Au- 
gustus that their country might be made a Roman pro- 
vince, with this view, that they might have the free use 
of their own laws - - - - - 170 

Sect. VIII. The reasons we have to believe that the 
emperor Augustus granted to the Jews what they had in 
view in this petition ----- 174 

Sect. IX. Passages from Josephus and Philo, proving 
that the Romans did grant to the Jews the execution of 
their own laws even in capital cases - - 180 

Sect. X. Objections answered - - 185 

Sect. XI. Other passages from Josephus, proving 
that the Jewish magistrates had the power of putting 
persons to death in the execution of their own laws 193 

Sect. XII. Passages from the Talmud to the same 
purpose, and the Talmudical account very consistent 
with the History of Josephus _ - , 202 

Sect. XIII. An argument of another nature, render- 
ing it highly probable that the Jewish magistrates under 
the Romans had the execution of their own laws in 
capital cases ___--_ 208 

Sect. XIV. Arguments taken from the sacred writ- 
ings to prove the same thing _ - . 210 


Sect. XV. Further arguments from the History of 
the Acts ------- 215 

Sect. XVI. Arguments to the same purpose from the 
Gospels ------- 220 

Sect. XVII. Further arguments from the Gospels 

The authority of the high priest and Jewish magistrates in 
the affairs of religion extended to foreign cities 234 


More Jewish customs confirmed - _ _ 244< 


Grecian customs confirmed _ - _ - 265 

Roman customs confirmed - _ _ - 300 


An account of the places referred to - - 332 


The principal facts confirmed - _ _ 362 


A further confirmation of the principal facts - 389 


A further confirmation of the principal facts 


The History of the Acts written by St. Luke 


The Acts of the Apostles was owned and rec 
Christians of the first ages as a sacred boo! 



A brief recapitulation of the things said in the foregoing 
chapter, together with the evidence thence arising of the 
truth and certainty of the principal matters related in the 
Acts -------- 482 


The evidence of the truth of Christianity arising from the 
principal facts related - - _ _ - 513 


The objections raised by rabbi Isaac ben Abraham an- 
swered __-_--_ 539 


Further objections of that rabbi answered - 561 


Other objections answered _ _ - _ 579 



1 Pet. i. 8. 

Whom having not seen, ye love ; in whom, though jww ye 
see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy tmspeakable 
and full of glory. 

X HERE are three graces mentioned here by the 
apostle, each of which has a commendation annexed 
to it. The first is love to Christ, spoken of as raised 
and ennobled by this circumstance, that it was lov- 
ing one whom they had not seen ; it being far more 
difficult to place our affections on a person we have 
never seen, than on one whom we see and converse 
with. To have an unseen Saviour frequently in our 
minds, to be often thinking on the excellencies of 
his person, the greatness of his performance, his won- 
derful love to us, the sufferings he underwent upon 
our account, and the blessings he has thereby pro- 
cured ; to make these things the subject of our fre- 
quent, serious meditations, so as to excite a holy 
flame in our souls, is a matter of pains ana labour 
and difficulty ; especially since our hearts are so apt 
to be entangled with the things of sense, and what 
we daily see and converse with so easily gains our 
affections ; since the love also which is required of 
us towards the blessed Jesus must exceed that of all 
things here below, so that we must readily part with 
vthem for his sake whenever called out unto it. 


The second grace mentioned by the apostle is 
faith in Christ, in whom helieving. This, though 
mentioned in the second place, is the first in order. 
For we therefore love Christ, because we believe in 
him. If we have neither seen him, nor believe in 
him, it is impossible we should love him. But al- 
though we see him not, yet, if we believe in him, we 
may, and, if we will act like reasonable creatures, 
we must both love and obey him. Believing in 
Christ signifies our assenting to the truth of those 
things which are related concerning him in the Gos- 
pels, particularly that he was in the beginning with 
God, and is God; that all things were made by him; 
that he condescended to take to him the human na- 
ture, led a poor suffering life, and died a cruel lin- 
gering death ; that he died thus to make atonement 
for our sins, and reconcile us to God ; that the Fa- 
ther was well pleased with the sacrifice he made of 
himself, raised him from the dead, and has commit- 
ted all power into his hands ; that one day he will 
come again, attended with the holy angels; raise 
the dead ; cite all, both quick and dead, to appear 
at his awful tribunal, and pass sentence on them 
according to their deeds, rendering eternal happi- 
ness to those who have obeyed him, the severest 
everlasting punishment to those who have not. If 
we yield our assent to the truth of these things, can 
it be said that we act like rational beings, unless, by 
submission and obedience to Christ, we prepare for 
this great and solemn day of reckoning? It is of 
those who so believe the gospel as to obey it that 
the apostle is here speaking ; for he joins love and 
joy to the faith mentioned. The faith therefore 
which the apostle commends is such an assent to 


the truth of the gospel as has an influence on the 
heart and life, such as begets in us a sincere and 
ardent love to Christ, and is the foundation of a 
true and solid joy; Whom having not seen, ye 
love ; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet be- 
lieving, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of 
glory, or of praise; a joy truly praiseworthy, ap- 
proved and applauded by God and all good men, 
and secretly commended by the consciences even of 
the wicked themselves. Such a joy proceeds from 
that faith alone which is fruitful in love and good 

What I propose to consider more particularly at 
this time is, the commendation given to the grace of 
faith, as exercised by the persons the apostle writes 
to ; In whom, though 7iow ye see him not, yet be- 
lieving : it was faith in a Saviour whom they had 
not seen. That this circumstance adds a lustre to 
faith is confirmed to us by our Lord himself, who 
says to Thomas, JSecause thou hast seen me, thou 
hast believed : blessed are they who have not seen, 
and yet have believed, John xx. 29- Blessed are 
they ; i. e. they are more blessed. Whence we may 
justly conclude that their faith is more praise- 

That we may the better understand how this cir- 
cumstance adds a lustre to faith, and renders it 
more commendable, I would offer these two or three 
things to your consideration : first, this does not in 
the least imply that in divine matters we are not to 
seek after proper evidence for what we believe. 
When the apostle commends the Christians he 
wrote to for believing in a Saviour whom they had 
not seen ; and our Lord blames Thomas for his in- 
B 2 


credulity, and applauds the faith of such who be- 
lieved in him, though they had not seen him ; it is 
not hereby intended to discourage persons from look- 
ing after proper evidence in such matters of religion 
as are proposed to their belief, or to hint to them 
that they should blindly assent to things, as the 
truths of God, without having clear proof given 
them of their being so. This would be greatly to 
demean and misemploy the faculties bestowed on 
us. To what end have we a capacity of searching 
into and examining the truth of things ? Why has 
God given us a power of considering the evidences 
that are offered, and judging of their weight and 
force, if he did not intend it should be exercised by 
us ? That he designed it should be exercised, we 
are fully informed in the sacred writings, and are 
exhorted to it. Our blessed Lord, John v. 32. 39, 
calls upon the Jews to consider the evidence given 
them of his being the Son of God. He appeals to 
the testimony of John the Baptist, to the testimony 
of his Father, by a voice from heaven, and to the 
miraculous works he enabled him to perform, and 
to the testimony of the holy scriptures ; Search the 
scriptures', for in them ye think that ye have 
eternal lije, and they are they which testify of me. 
In many places he appeals to the evidence he gave 
them of being their Messiah by the wonders he 
wrought ; and, John x. 37, assures them that he 
expected not any credit from them, if he gave them 
not full proof hereof by his works; If I do not the 
works of my Father, helieve me not. In another 
place he plainly declares, that, if he had not given 
them clear evidence by his miracles of his being 
the Son of God, their unbelief had been excusable, 


John XV. 24. If 1 had not done among them the 
works which none other man did, they had not had 
sin. The Bereans are highly applauded for search- 
ing into the truth of those things which were spoken 
by St. Paul, Acts xvii. 11. These ivere more noble 
than those in Thessalonica, in that they received 
the word with all readiness of mind, and searched 
the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. 
And the apostle John exhorts us, 1 John iv. 1. JBe- 
loved, believe not every spirit, but try the sjnrits, 
whether they are of God, because many false pro- 
phets are gone out into the world. This therefore 
most certainly cannot be the meaning of the com- 
mendation here given to the faith of these persons, 
to discourage and prevent our looking after proper 
evidence for the things that are proposed to us in 
matters of religion, because this is a thing which 
the holy scriptures do indeed every where encourage 
what they command us to do, and applaud Chris- 
tians for doing. But, 

SIdly, The plain meaning of it is, that, when pro- 
per evidence is offered, we should yield our assent. 
When such evidence is offered for the truth of those 
things, which are proposed to our belief in religious 
matters, as wise men commonly act upon in the 
aflfairs and concernments of the present life, we are 
to yield our assent to the truth of those things, and 
to act accordingly. Herein Thomas was wanting ; 
and it is this failure of his is blamed by our Lord. 
He did not yield to proper evidence, to that evi- 
dence which could not have been gainsaid by him 
in any other case, and that was the testimony of 
many credible persons who had seen our Lord after 
his resurrection. As to the thing reported by them, 
B 3 


there was nothing improbable in it, because our 
Lord had not only expressly foretold that he would 
rise the third day, but had rendered what he said 
highly credible, by the many exceeding great works 
that he wrought in his lifetime, by his giving sight 
to tlie blind, healing the paralytic, restoring withered 
limbs, and raising some to life that were actually 
dead. Since therefore he who had performed such 
wonders, he who had raised others from death, fore- 
told his own resurrection, there was nothing incre- 
dible in the fact related. 

Peter and John went to his sepulchre, and found 
his body missing. Mary Magdalen, who had been 
there before them, and by her report occasioned 
their going, returning again to the sepulchre with 
them, when they were departed, saw Jesus risen, 
and spake with him. He was afterwards, on the 
same day, seen by Simon Peter, and by two other 
disciples, who conversed with him in their way to 
Emmaus ; and on the evening of the same day by 
the disciples assembled together in a body, who ex- 
amined the wounds made in his hands and feet, and 
saw him eat part of a broiled fish and of a honey- 
comb. These relate the fact to Thomas, who never- 
theless would not believe it, but said. Except I 
shall see in his hands the jwint of the nails ^ and 
put my finger into the przw^ of the nails^ and 
thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 
This was rejecting such evidence as all men govern 
themselves by, and act upon, in other cases. The 
thing related was indeed more than probable from 
the prediction of our Saviour, who had given such 
ample proof of his being ^person sent from God, 
and was confirmed by the joint testimony of many 


eyewitnesses, persons whose credibility he had not 
the least reason to suspect, and who could have no 
interest in deceiving him. This unbelief therefore 
was highly unreasonable, and what he is most justly 
blamed for. 

Hence we may easily learn what is the faith com- 
mended by our Lord in the Gospel of St. John, and 
by the apostle in my text. It is a faith built upon 
such evidence as wise men assent to and act upon 
in the most important concernments of the present 
life: Because thou hast seen me, thou hast be- 
lieved: Messed are they that have not seen, and 
yet have believed. " Thou wouldst not believe my 
" resurrection, unless thou didst see me with thine 
" own eyes, and handiest my wounds, although 
" thou hadst received plain and full evidence of the 
" truth thereof. Their faith is more to be esteemed 
" and praised, who, although they have not seen 
" me themselves, yet believe my resurrection from 
" the report of those many eye and earwitnesses 
" who have seen me and conversed with me." From 
comparing the words of my text with this part of 
our Lord's history, the plain meaning of the com- 
mendation given to the grace of faith in my text, as 
exercised by those Christians the apostle wrote to, 
from this circumstance, that they had believed in 
him whom they had not seen, appears to be, not in 
the least to discourage them from looking after all 
fitting and suitable evidence of the truth of those 
things which are proposed to their belief in the gos- 
pel ; for this is made their duty ; but to encourage 
them in yielding their assent to truths built upon 
such evidence as we generally govern ourselves by 
B 4 


in the most momentous affairs of the present life, 
and in acting agreeably thereto. 

Were we to believe nothing but what we are eye 
or earwitnesses of, the business of the world would 
be soon at a stand. There could be little trade or 
commerce carried on in distant parts of the world ; 
there could be no such thing as fixed courts of judi- 
cature ; there could be no policy or government, 
nor would there be much comfort in life itself. In 
the affairs of this world we are forced to yield to 
probable arguments and the testimony of others, 
and upon this ground we proceed in the most im- 
portant concernments. When a thing probable in 
itself is related by persons of credit, who we have 
no reason to suspect would deceive us, we not only 
yield our assent to it, but govern ourselves by it. 
Thus it is in all matters of commerce ; thus it is in 
all courts of judicature, not only in civil, but in cri- 
minal cases, wherein the liberties and lives of men 
are concerned : and thus it is in the arduous affairs 
of policy and government, be they never so import- 
ant. Now if in matters of religion we have the 
same evidence as we have in those which are the 
greatest and most important concernments of life, 
and notwithstanding will not yield to this evidence, 
but require more, is not this highly blameworthy ? 
On the other hand, is it not right, and fitting, and 
commendable, to yield to such proof, and act agree- 
ably thereto ? for, 

3dly, To act upon such evidence shews our incli- 
nation and readiness to oI)ey the will of God. To 
assent to the truth of those things which we see 
with our own eyes, and can no longer doubt of, as 


Thomas did, is no ways praiseworthy. But to con- 
sider and examine the evidence of what is offered to 
us as a truth coming from God, and containing his 
mind ; and when we find there is the same evidence 
for it as we are usually governed by in the greatest 
and most momentous affairs of the present life, then 
to give our assent to it, so as to govern ourselves by 
it, is truly commendable. This discovers a devout 
frame and temper of mind, a mind prepared to do 
the will of God in every thing it knows to be such ; 
it shews a desire to understand, and a willingness to 
perform every, thing which God shall require. 

When persons receive things for the will of God 
without a suitable evidence of their being so, this 
discovers not so much a zeal and forwardness to do 
the will of God, as a laziness of temper, a most cul- 
pable indolence, a sloth highly blameworthy, which 
exposes them to receive the very worst things as 
coming from above, the dictates of Satan for the 
truths of God; makes them liable to be imposed 
upon by the cunning of designing knaves, or the 
madness of every enthusiast ; and is a direct disobe- 
dience to the commands of God, which enjoin us to 
search the scriptures, to try the spirits, and judge 
of divine truths by their evidence. 

On the other hand, when persons will not yield 
to such evidence as is convictive in all other the 
most important cases, and which they govern them- 
selves by in the weightiest concernments of the pre- 
sent life, this discovers an obstinacy and perverse- 
ness of temper that is noways excusable : it shews 
also a great disinclination and averseness to perform 
the will of God. What reason can be assigned why 
they should withhold their assent in matters of reli- 


gion, when they have the same evidence of the 
truth thereof as they are forced to yield to, and are 
governed by, in all other the most important affairs, 
unless it be their aversion to perform what God re- 
quires? If God has been pleased to give us as strong 
proof that the things enjoined in the gospel are his 
will, as we are contented with, and act upon, in all 
the most momentous concerns of the present life; 
what can hinder us from embracing the gospel pre- 
cepts as containing the mind of God, and conform- 
ing thereto in our lives, but a disinclination to their 
purity and holiness, and a fondness for the contrary 
vices? Men are loath to part with their endeared 
habits. To cut off a right hand, and pluck out a 
right eye, is matter of pains and difficulty. They 
cannot find in their hearts to root up their beloved 
lusts and long-indulged vices. Therefore they resist 
the very same evidence they yield to in all other 
cases, at least so far as not to be influenced and go- 
verned by it in their conversations. 

Forasmuch then as the admitting things to be the 
mind of God without proper evidence is directly dis- 
obeying the command of God, and betrays a most 
culpable indolence and sloth ; and again, the reject- 
ing things as divine, when supported by the same 
evidence which is convictive to us in all other the 
most important cases, betrays an unreasonable stub- 
bornness of temper, and an aversion to the things 
required of us ; the middle way is unquestionably 
the safest, and the only commendable one ; which is, 
to look into and examine the proofs of those things 
which are offered to us as containing the will of 
God, and always to yield to such arguments as we 
have nothing solid to object against; to give our 


assent to, and act by such evidence as usually go- 
verns us in all the momentous affairs of the present 
life. This discovers a studious desire in us of know- 
ing what the will of God is, and a readiness to ac- 
knowledge and obey it. 

And should we err in following this rule, which I 
cannot but think the goodness of God will secure us 
from, we are undoubtedly safe with respect to the 
favour of God, because such error would, in the pre- 
sent condition of human nature, be utterly unavoid- 
able : by this method therefore we cannot fail of 
pleasing God. By seeking after proper evidence, we 
shew our great unwillingness to be deceived, and to 
take that for his will which is not so : and by yield- 
ing to the same evidence, which we are forced to 
assent to and govern ourselves by, in the greatest 
business and concerns of life, we shew our desire to 
please him, and readiness to obey him. 

Thus have I considered the commendation given 
to the grace of faith in my text, and laid before you 
the reason of it. I have already observed, that the 
faith the apostle here speaks of is such a belief of 
gospel truths as begets love in the heart and obedi- 
ence in the life. This is the faith he commends: 
for it is noways commendable that a person barely 
assent to the truths of the gospel upon the evidence 
we have been mentioning, unless he also act accord- 
ingly, unless he govern his temper and direct his 
behaviour agreeably to the gospel precepts. This is 
it that renders faith in an unseen Saviour so praise- 
worthy, that we be not only inwardly convinced, 
but demonstrate that we are so in our outward con- 
duct, by conforming ourselves to Christ's example, 
and obeying his commands. 


And this is the only way to attain the joy so 
highly commended by the apostle in the words fol- 
lowing : In whom, though now ye see him not, yet 
helieving, ye rejoice ivith joy unspeakahle and full 
of glory, or of praise. Would you maintain a sere- 
nity of mind and joy of heart in all states of life, 
and under the near prospect of death ? would you 
be able to rejoice in the midst of calamities, and 
under the severest trials and afflictions ? would you 
triumph even in the agonies of a violent and linger- 
ing death, as many of the holy martyrs have done ? 
you must not only give your assent to the truths of 
the gospel, but must subject yourselves to Christ's 
government, and perform his will. Unless you pro- 
duce the fruit of a good life, your faith is dead, your 
hope is presumption, and all your joy is deceit. If 
you would lead a life of comfort and joy, you must 
lead a life of faith. The life you henceforth lead, 
you must live hy the faith of the Son of God, ivho 
loved y oil, and gave himself for you. The love of 
Christ must constrain you, that you live no longer 
to yourselves, hut to him that died for you, and 
rose again from the dead. And if you have such 
a faith as this, how reasonable is your joy ! your sins 
are pardoned; you are the children of God, and 
heirs of glory ; joint heirs with Christ to an inhe- 
ritance incorrujjtihle, undefiled, and that fade th 
not away. You may firmly depend on your hea- 
venly Father for whatever aids, supports, and com- 
fort you need here, and rejoice in the hope of ever- 
lasting glory and unspeakable bliss hereafter. 



We no sooner come to years of understanding 
and reflection than we feel one of those truths, 
which (if we have had any tolerable education) 
have from our infancy been inculcated on us, strik- 
ing us in the strongest manner; and that is, that 
religion is an affair of the highest moment, of 
the utmost consequence to us possible. This truth 
shines with so overbearing a light, that persons 
must first deny the existence of religion itself be- 
fore they can doubt, dispute of, or diminish its im- 
portance. Accordingly we find, when we arrive at 
knowledge and experience in the world, that it is a 
truth universally allowed by those who acknowledge 
the immortality of the soul, or a future state of re- 
wards and punishments, even though they deny all 
revelation . 

It is too plainly visible that mankind are not 
agreed in an affair of this avowed concern. Even 
those who are united in the acknowledgment of its 
moment and consequence, differ widely in their no- 
tions of the thing itself: and it cannot be concealed 
from us, that some parts of the world are not more 
remotely distant from others in their situations, ha- 
bits, and languages, than in their religious tenets. 
Ought not every man then to examine whether the 
religion he professes be well founded, built upon 


such solid grounds as will not deceive him? The 
more necessary, useful, and important the edifice, 
the greater should be the care taken that the foun- 
dation be sure and immoveable. 

Shall a man grudge his pains, and spare himself 
the thought and study, to be satisfied of the truth 
of the religion he professes? Can he be too soli- 
citous, too diligent, in an affair of the utmost conse- 
quence? No, certainly; his labour and fatigue in 
the inquiry ought to bear some proportion to the 
great moment of the truth he is seeking ; till he is 
firmly persuaded that he has the justest reason to 
give his assent to it, and is fully determined to be 
governed by it. For should we be never so strongly 
convinced of the truth of religion, but at the same 
time will not form our lives agreeably thereto, we 
might as well have omitted the pains we were at in 
examining its evidence, and confirming ourselves in 
the belief of it, because it cannot be of any service to 
us to see our way to happiness, if we refuse to walk 
in it. 

Forasmuch as the religion we have been educated 
in is that delivered down to us by Christ and his dis- 
ciples as revealed from heaven, it is our concern most 
certainly well to consider and duly to weigh its pre- 
tensions ; that if the proofs there are for its being 
true and genuine are substantial, and carry convic- 
tion with them, we may with all cheerfulness per- 
form the things thereby enjoined, and with pleasure 
wait for the glory and felicity therein promised. 

The first thing that offers itself to our thoughts, 
in the trial of a revelation pretending to come from 
above, is, whether it be worthy of God, and suited 
to the condition of man. If it teaches doctrines con- 


tradictory to the nature of God, or to that reason 
with which he has endued us; if it recommends 
examples or enjoins precepts inconsistent with the 
moral attributes of the divine Being, or the eternal 
rule of right reason ; if it insist on the practice of 
such things as tend manifestly to the hurt and de- 
triment of man, and to the preventing his happi- 
ness ; we may justly and warrantably conclude that 
it is not from heaven. But the more fully we ex- 
amine, and the more thoroughly we comprehend the 
Christian scheme, the more firmly shall we be per- 
suaded that it was fitting to be revealed by God, 
and received by men ; that every part of it exactly 
harmonizes with the divine attributes, and is no less 
agreeable to the state of man ; that it has a plain 
and direct tendency to improve and meliorate his 
condition here, and thereby train him up and pre- 
pare him for that perfection it gives him hope of 
hereafter ; that there is not the least thing required 
of us, but what it was highly becoming the wisdom 
of God to insist on, and manifestly conducive to our 
interest and welfare to comply with. 

The next inquiry that occurs naturally to our 
minds is, whether this revelation be fact. It is very 
possible that, after the strictest scrutiny we are ca- 
pable of making, we may be able to discern nothing 
in a revelation pretending to come from God un- 
worthy of him, or unsuitable to the state of man ; 
at least there may be so plausible an interpretation 
put upon those things we object to, as we cannot 
reasonably find fault with. And yet, after all, this 
may be no other than the invention of men, the 
well-laid contrivance of some crafty, political heads, 
who, studiously considering and foreseeing the ob- 


jections that might be started, industriously pre- 
vented them. 

It is not enough therefore to see that the Chris- 
tian religion is every way becoming the wisdom and 
nature of God, and highly conducive to the perfec- 
tion and happiness of man, unless we can also satisfy 
ourselves of the truth of the fact that it was indeed 
revealed from heaven. And I doubt not to assert it 
as a thing certain from manifold experience, that 
the more fully persons inquire into the evidence of 
this fact, the more nicely they sift, and the more 
scrupulously and minutely they examine its several 
proofs, the more substantial and convincing will they 
always find them. 

Another thing that will present itself to the in- 
quiry of a considerate and knowing mind, as neces- 
sary to be canvassed, is, whether this revelation has 
not been superseded by a later. The Jews affirm 
that theirs is the only religion revealed from heaven. 
Christians acknowledge the truth of their revela- 
tion ; but at the same time allege that far the 
greater part of the things therein enjoined are set 
aside by the new revelation made to them. Is there 
no one of a yet more modern date to which the 
Christian ought to yield ? A very large part of the 
world make pretences to such a revelation, and 
would ol)trude the Koran upon us, as what ought 
to take place in the room of our gospel. But the 
more impartially we examine the consents of that 
book, and the methods by which a professed belief 
of it has been enforced and propagated, so much the 
less proofs shall we find of its being a divine revela- 
tion. If war, l)loodshed, slaughter, and desolation, 
carried on for no end but the making converts and 


proselytes, can be evidence of the truth of a reli- 
gion ; if the drawn sword, pointed at a man's breast, 
can be a natural and proper means to convince his 
mind, divest him of his errors, and shew him the 
truth ; then may we entertain favourable sentiments 
of Mohammed and his religion. But if these are 
methods repugnant to nature and truth ; if these ter- 
rify and confound, but not instruct men ; if they 
darken the mind, instead of enlightening it ; if they 
make men hypocritically profess what they neither 
do nor can believe ; then may we firmly persuade 
ourselves that the Christian revelation still continues 
in its full force, and that the pretences of the Mus- 
selmen are all groundless. 

To go through each of these three inquiries in so 
full and distinct a manner as a subject of this nature 
ought to be treated, and to answer all the objections 
that have been raised, would take up much more 
time than the honourable founder has allotted to 
any one person in the preaching of this Lecture. I 
shall confine myself therefore to the second inquiry, 
and lay before you those proofs which convince me 
that the Christian religion is in fact a divine reve- 

No one, I think, pretends to deny that Chris- 
tianity has been now openly and publicly professed 
for 1700 years and upwards ; and were it denied, it 
is the easiest thing imaginable to shew it by turn- 
ing to the histories of every age during that period. 
How great a part of the world professed this reli- 
gion when Constantine the Roman emperor became 
a Christian, no one who has looked into the accounts 
of his life and times can be ignorant. How very 
numerous the Christians were in the province of 


Bithynia, in the reign of the emperor Trajan, Pliny 
is an undeniable witness. Suetonius and Tacitus 
inform us with what severity the followers of Christ 
were treated before this under Nero. But if we 
ascend a little higher, and consult the histories of 
Julius Caesar, or his successor Augustus, or of any 
princes contemporary with or elder than them, we 
find not a word of any such religion, or of the per- 
sons who professed it. Hence is it most evident, 
that the relation given us in our sacred books of the 
rise of Christianity exactly corresponds with what 
we are able to gather concerning it from other au- 
thors ; and it is plainly demonstrable from heathen 
writers, that the time fixed by the four Gospels and 
the Acts of the Apostles, for its first appearance and 
progress in the world, is the very time in which it 
began, and no other. 

As the five books I have now mentioned are the 
only genuine sacred books which give us a clear, 
distinct, historical account of the original success of 
the Christian religion, so the wonderful facts related 
therein must, I think, be readily acknowledged by 
all to be in themselves the most likely means to 
spread and propagate it : and it is very difficult, if 
not impossible, to conceive how it should in so short 
a time gain the ground it did, if these facts had not 
been true. If indeed we take them for granted, 
that is, if there were prophecies delivered to the 
Jewish nation many ages before concerning the Mes- 
siah who was to come ; if these all centered in and 
described the blessed Jesus ; if there were various 
miraculous appearances preceding and attending his 
birth ; if he had open and express attestations from 
heaven of the truth of his mission ; if he healed the 


sick, cleansed the leprous, gave sight to the blind, 
cured the paralytic, and this at a word's speaking, 
and sometimes at a distance ; if he raised to life 
those who had been some time dead ; if, according 
to his own prediction, he arose himself from the 
dead on the third day ; if he foretold several things 
as difficult to be foreseen as this, and which exactly 
answered in the event ; if his disciples after him did 
more and greater miracles than he himself had done ; 
if they wrought these wonderful works, not for the 
space of one or two years only, but upwards of 
thirty years together, not in small villages, but the 
greatest and most populous cities ; if the whole 
Jewish nation, and multitudes that came from all 
countries to Jerusalem, were witnesses of these 
things; if they performed. them not in Judaea only, 
but in every even the most distant parts of the 
world, whither they went to preach the gospel; if 
these facts, I say, are taken for granted by us, it is 
no difficult matter to conceive how the Christian re- 
ligion should in the course of a few years be spread 
through the vast extent of the Roman empire, and 
much beyond it. But if we will not admit the truth 
of these facts, I think it is utterly impossible for the 
wit of man to invent any probable account how it 
came to pass that this religion was so soon and so 
widely propagated as we find it was. 

We learn both from Jewish and heathen writers, 
that the Author of this religion underwent the dis- 
grace of a public execution, due only to the vilest of 
malefactors : and Christians themselves have always 
openly professed that he suffered the painful and 
ignominious death of the cross. How strong a pre- 
judice must this raise in the minds of all against 
C 2 


embracing it ! how great an aversion to it ! what an 
invincible obstacle must this have been to its spread- 
ing and prevailing, had not those extraordinary and 
miraculous means before mentioned been made use of 
to that end ! and even those, when heard of only by 
a distant rumour, but not seen, not examined into, 
and thoroughly understood, might give persons no 
very agreeable idea of the Christian religion, being 
represented by its enemies as the effects of sorcery. 
Hence it was, I am persuaded, that Tacitus and 
Suetonius were led to pass the harsh censures'' they 
do upon this religion and its professors. It was na- 
tural for persons, who would not give themselves the 
trouble to sift this affair to the bottom, to conclude 
that a Roman governor would not have condemned 
Christ to so cruel a death, had he not been a cri- 
minal that highly deserved it; and to take it for 
granted, that all who could list themselves under 
such a wretch as their teacher and master, must 
be as wicked as himself; and that none but the 
worst of mankind could deify and worship one who 
had been deservedly punished with the death of the 
vilest slave. It is possible they might also think 
that nothing but an invincible love to the wicked, 
detestable arts of sorcery, which he had taught 
them, could induce them to adhere to him. Is it 
any wonder that persons who took up with opinions 
so injurious, so foreign from the truth, should speak 
ill of Christians and their religion ? This, however, 
may convince us what prejudices prevailed, and that 
nothing but the most glaring evidence of the con- 

» Exitiabilis superstitio, Tac. SuperstUionis maleficce. Suet, 
Epithets very usually affixed to the magical arts. 


trary truths could have dispelled and removed 

We learn also from the two forementioned hea- 
then writers that Christians not only underwent an 
ill fame, but were severely handled ; that as early 
as Nero's reign they suffered a most bitter persecu- 
tion. Tacitus informs us that a great multitude of 
them were apprehended by that emperor's order, 
and exposed to the most cruel tortures, the most 
painful and lingering deaths. Now that persons 
should vanquish the deep-rooted prejudices they 
had sucked in with their milk, abandon the re- 
ligion they were educated in, and, notwithstand- 
ing the utter aversion they might some time have 
felt in themselves to the doing it, become the dis- 
ciples, adorers, and worshippers of one whom far 
the most about them looked upon as no other 
than a criminal justly condemned and deservedly 
executed, and thereby lay themselves open to the 
scorn, contempt, ridicule, hatred, and ill treatment 
of their kindred, acquaintance, and neighbours ; re- 
nounce all their hopes and interests in this world ; 
run the risk of every thing that was dear and va- 
luable to them here ; hazard life itself, and dare 
venture upon death under its most ghastly form, 
dying piece-meal and by inches ; I say, that a great 
multitude should do this upon less grounds than 
those related in the four Gospels and the Acts of 
the Apostles, seems to me wholly incredible. 

I know not that any who have yet written on 
the infidel side of the question have attempted to 
give us a reasonable account of this matter. Till 
they are pleased therefore to lay before us at least 
a plausible method in which so great and sudden a 
c 3 


change might be brought to pass, we may, I think, 
safely continue in the persuasion that it was by the 
wonders related in our holy books ; and may take 
leave also to say, that although they cannot, as they 
pretend, bring themselves to believe the historical 
facts contained in the four Gospels and the Acts of 
the Apostles, yet they can easily give credit to that 
which it is far more difficult to conceive ; that is, 
that the Christian religion could be spread through 
so many widely distant nations, as we find it was in 
the course of a very few years, notwithstanding the 
aversion and inveterate prejudices of those who were 
to embrace it ; notwithstanding the violent opposi- 
tion that was made to it by the powers of the 
world ; notwithstanding the contempt, ridicule, and 
sufferings the professors of it underwent from their 
friends and neighbours, without any of the miracu- 
lous means mentioned in our sacred writings, and 
by the ordinary course of human affairs. 

It has been often observed, that although infidels 
accuse Christians of an easy credulity, the accusa- 
tion, when retorted, is just ; that they themselves, 
in truth, are the easy and credulous, and embrace 
the most monstrous absurdities in maintenance of 
their infidelity. What I have just now laid before 
you is manifestly one instance : they will not be- 
lieve the wonderful facts related in the Gospels and 
the history of the Acts ; and yet they believe what 
is far more incredible, that is, that the Christian re- 
ligion was propagated without them. When once 
they attempt to shew us how this could be, I think 
it is very evident that they will expose the naked- 
ness of their cause, and their absurdity must appear 
to all. 


If the matters of fact contained in these histo- 
rical relations be admitted as true, it can be longer 
doubted whether the Christian religion be a divine 
revelation. If there were so many miraculous ap- 
pearances at the birth of Jesus ; if during his life he 
performed such amazing works ; if after his death 
he arose from the grave, ascended visibly into hea- 
ven, sent down the gifts of the Holy Spirit on his 
disciples; according to his promise, endued them with 
such wonderful power, and enabled them to testify 
the truth of his resurrection with all boldness, not- 
withstanding the hazard they ran, and the ill treat- 
ment they met with for so doing, as is particularly 
related therein; no one, that allows himself at all 
to think, can make the least doubt that he is the 
Messiah, the Son of God, as he declared himself to 
be, and that the doctrine he taught he received from 
his Father. For as it is certain that such things 
could not be brought to pass without the divine per- 
mission, so no one can conceive it reconcileable with 
the attributes of an infinitely holy, just, true, and 
good Being to have suffered such things to be done, 
in order to impose on and deceive the best of men 
in an affair of the highest consequence to them pos- 
sible. For Jesus openly appealed to his miraculous 
works, and particularly his resurrection from the 
dead, as the proof of his being sent from heaven. 
Was it consistent with the holiness, justice, truth, 
and goodness of God, to allow these proofs to follow 
his appeal, if he had not sent him ? If we admit a 
Providence ruling over all, we must be persuaded, 
that, in a case of such importance, it would have in- 
terposed, and prevented the imposture. For who 
were the persons the most likely to be deceived? 
c 4 


were they not those who were the best disposed, 
who entertained the highest regard for the Deity ; 
were the most desirous of knowing his will, and the 
most willing to obey it? and could there be any 
thing concern them more nearly, or of greater con- 
sequence to them, than the things which relate to 
the worship and favour of God, and a future life ? 
Unless therefore we can suppose that the infinitely 
perfect Being could act an unkind and unfriendly 
part by those who were most devoted to his service, 
we can never grant that he would suffer the dead 
to be raised to hfe, in proof that certain doctrines 
regarding his worship and a future life were re- 
vealed by him, which were not so. 

This being a consequence generally seen, and rea- 
dily assented to, the authority of our sacred books, 
and the truth of the facts contained in them, have 
of late been disputed. I shall endeavour therefore 
to lay before you the plain proofs we have of their 
being true and genuine histories, and answer all the 
arguments which I can learn have been made use of 
to weaken their authority, and render the facts re- 
lated therein doubtful. I shall begin with the Acts 
of the Apostles, and (if the time will give me leave) 
proceed afterwards to the four Gospels. 

With regard to the Acts of the Apostles, I shall 
first give you a short view of the facts contained 
therein ; secondly, shew you how far these facts are 
confirmed to us by other historians ; thirdly, lay be- 
fore you the plain and direct proofs there are that 
this book was written by St. Luke, and was owned 
and received by the Christians as a sacred book, and 
the arguments thence arising of the truth of the 
facts therein related ; fourthly, the incontestable evi- 


dence these facts afford of the truth of Christianity ; 
and, lastly, answer all the objections that I can find 
have been at any time started either with regard to 
the authority of this book, or to the truth of any of 
the facts related in it. 


A short view of the facts contained in the history 
of the Acts, with some natural reflections thence 

X SHALL, first of all, give you a brief view of 
the facts contained in this book : they are, the vi- 
sible ascension of Christ into heaven ; the miracu- 
lous effusion of the Holy Ghost on the disciples, to- 
gether with the wonderful powers thereby conferred ; 
the healing the lame beggar, who was daily laid at 
the Beautiful gate of the temple ; and the increase 
of Christ's followers, by the amazing conversion of 
many thousand Jews ; the exemplary punishment of 
Ananias and Sapphira, with many miracles done by 
Peter and the other apostles; the imprisonment and 
miraculous release of the apostles ; their being after- 
wards apprehended, and beaten by the magistrates ; 
the appointment of seven deacons ; the defence of 
St. Stephen before the sanhedrim, and his being 
stoned; Philip the deacon's planting the gospel in 
Samaria ; the gifts of the Holy Ghost being con- 
ferred by the hands of the apostles ; the feigned 
conversion of Simon Magus, and the real conver- 
sion of the Ethiopian eunuch ; Saul's bitter persecu- 
tion of Christ's disciples, and his miraculous conver- 
sion ; St. Peter's curing ^neas of an eight years' 
palsy, and raising Dorcas from the dead ; his being 
taught by a vision from heaven that the Gentiles 
were to be no longer esteemed unclean ; his preach- 
ing the gospel to Cornelius and his friends, and the 


Holy Ghost's falling on them ; the plentiful crop of 
Gentile converts after this, particularly at Antioch ; 
the prophecy of Agahus concerning the dearth there 
should be under Claudius Caesar; Herod's slaying 
the apostle James with the sword ; his imprisoning 
of Peter, who is delivered by an angel, and his re- 
markable end ; that Paul and Barnabas, commis- 
sioned by the Holy Ghost to publish the gospel 
among the Gentiles, arrive at Salamis, preach to 
Sergius Paulus the Roman governor, are opposed by 
Elymas the sorcerer, who is struck blind, and the 
governor is converted ; that they next preached the 
word at Antioch in Pisidia, first to the Jews, and 
then to the Gentiles, and among the latter had a 
large number of converts ; but, being persecuted by 
the envious Jews, they travelled to Iconium, and so 
spake there, that a gi'eat multitude both of Jews 
and Gentiles believed ; that they abode here a long 
time, and did many miracles ; but at length, being 
persecuted by the envy of the Jews, they fled to 
Lycaonia, and St. Paul having healed a cripple, lame 
from his mother's womb, at Lystra, the inhabitants 
would fain have done him divine honours, taking 
him for a god; the Jews here also stirred up the 
people against St. Paul, and prevailed to that de- 
gree, that they stoned him, drew him out of the 
city, and left him for dead ; but the almighty arm 
saved him, so that either he received no hurt from 
the force and weight of the stones thrown at him, 
or his bruises and wounds were immediately healed ; 
for he soon arose, and, after the short stay of one 
night more in that city, went the next day with 
Barnabas to Derbe, and having taught many there, 
they returned to Lystra, to Iconium, to Antioch in 


Pisidia, and having ordained elders in every church 
which they had planted, they passed throughout Pi- 
sidia, came to Pamphylia, preached at Perga, went 
down to Attalia, and then returned to Antioch in 
Syria, from whence they set out : that Paul and 
Barnabas were sent from hence to Jerusalem to con- 
sult the apostles whether it were necessary that the 
converted Gentiles should be circumcised, and de- 
clared before them and the whole multitude of the 
disciples at Jerusalem what miracles and wonders 
God had wrought among the Gentiles by them ; and 
the apostles with the elders having determined this 
question in favour of the Gentile converts, Paul and 
Barnabas returned to Antioch : that after some days 
Paul and Barnabas, purposing to visit the churches 
they had planted among the Gentiles, differed so 
greatly in their opinions concerning John, whose sur- 
name was Mark, that, they separating, Barnabas 
went to Cyprus, and Paul, passing through Syria 
and Cilicia, went to Derbe and Lystra ; as he went 
through the cities, delivering the decrees of the apo- 
stles to keep, and establishing the churches in their 
faith : and having gone throughout Phrygia and 
Galatia, he came down to Troas ; from whence, 
being warned by a vision, he went to Samothracia, 
the next day to Neapolis, and from thence to Phi- 
lippi, which was the first city of that part of Mace- 
donia, and a Roman colony : here he converted Ly- 
dia, cast the demon out of the Pythonissa, was 
scourged, cast into prison, and had his feet fastened 
in the stocks; but at midnight the prison-doors 
being flung open by a miraculous earthquake, and 
the irons of every prisoner falling off, the gaoler, 
concluding they were all fled, in the greatness of 


his surprise would have stabbed himself, had not 
Paul assured him that not one prisoner was missing : 
overcome by this wonderful event, he gave atten- 
tion to the word preached by Paul and Silas, and 
was baptized, he and all his household : the magis- 
trates of tliis city, repenting of their rash act in 
beating and imprisoning two Romans unheard, un- 
condemned, came the next day, and besought them 
to leave both the prison and their city : that St. 
Paul went from thence through Amphipolis and 
Apollonia, and came to Thessalonica, where, after 
liaving converted many to the Christian faith, an 
uproar being made by the unbelieving Jews, he 
went unto Beroea ; whence, after a large harvest of 
converts, the Jews stirring up the people against 
him here also, he was conducted to Athens : having 
preached and made a few converts in that city, he 
went to Corinth ; there he abode about two years, 
and converted very many. He was here carried be- 
fore Gallio the Roman proconsul, and Sosthenes the 
chief ruler of the synagogue was beaten for his sake. 
He sailed from Cenchrea, the eastern port belonging 
to Corinth, for Syria, put in by the way at Ephesus, 
and, after a short stay in that city, sailed thence to 
Caesarea; and having gone up and saluted the 
church at Jerusalem, he went down to Antioch in 
Syria. That after some time spent here, he went 
again over all the countries of Galatia and Phrygia, 
comforting the disciples ; and, passing through the 
upper coasts, came to Ephesus. Here he conferred 
the Holy Ghost on twelve disciples, who before this 
had heard only of John's baptism. He continued in 
this city three months preaching in the synagogue 
of the Jews, and after that disputed daily in the 


school of one Tyrannus by the space of two years, 
so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the 
Lord, both Jews and Gentiles : and God wrought 
special miracles by the hand of Paul, so that from 
his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs 
and aprons, and the diseases departed from them, 
and the evil spirits went out of them. Seven sons 
of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, at- 
tempting to cast out an evil spirit by the name of 
Jesus, in imitation of the apostle, were forced to flee 
out of the house wounded and naked. Many that 
used magic arts and sorceries, being converted, con- 
fessed and renounced their evil deeds, and burnt 
their books. An uproar was raised against St. Paul 
by Demetrius the silversmith, and artfully appeased 
by the town-clerk ; after which St. Paul imme- 
diately left this city, and went through Macedonia 
into Greece, There he continued three months, 
and learning that the Jews laid wait for him, as he 
was about to sail into Syria, he returned to Mace- 
donia, and sailed from Philippi to Troas. Here Paul 
raised Eutychus to life, who had fallen from a third 
story to the ground, and was taken up dead. Thence 
he went to Assos, and Mitylene, and Samos, and 
Trogyllium, and Miletus. To this place he sent for 
the elders of Ephesus, and in a most pathetic dis- 
course foretold the disorders that would happen 
among them after his departure. Thence he went 
to Coos, and Rhodes, and Patara, where he took 
ship for Phoenicia, and landed at Tyre. Here he 
met with disciples, who foresaw the danger he 
would be exposed to by going up to Jerusalem, and 
dissuaded him from it. He sailed thence to Ptole- 
mais, and went to Caesarea, where continuing in the 


house of Philip the deacon and evangelist many- 
days, there came Agabus the prophet down from 
Judsea, and foretold that Paul should be bound at 
Jerusalem, and delivered into the hands of the Gen- 
tiles. Notwithstanding, being willing to lay down 
his life for the name of Jesus, he went up to Jeru- 
salem ; and certain Asiatic Jews, finding him in the 
temple, raised a tumult, and would have put him to 
death, had he not been rescued out of their hands 
by Claudius Lysias, the chief captain, with his Ro- 
man soldiers, who imprisoned him, and would have 
put him to the question by scourging, but that he 
found he was a citizen of Rome. The chief cap- 
tain, willing to know his crime, ordered him a hear- 
ing before the Jewish sanhedrim ; and being in- 
formed that if he brought him a second time before 
them he would be murdered by certain Jews, who 
had bound themselves under a great curse to that 
purpose, he sent him with a strong guard to Felix 
the Roman governor, residing at Caesarea. St. Paul 
had a hearing before Felix ; and although the Ro- 
man governor was convinced of his innocence, yet, 
through covetousness and fear of the Jews, he would 
not release him, but left him in prison when he was 
recalled from the province. Porcius Festus suc- 
ceeded him, and soon after his arrival gave a hear- 
ing to Paul; who, finding that the Jews had pre- 
vailed with the governor to carry him to Jerusalem, 
in order to be tried there, and knowing of their 
lying in wait to kill him by the way, appealed unto 
Caesar. He is again heard by Festus, in the presence 
of king Agrlppa and his sister Bernice, and his in- 
nocence acknowledged by all. Being committed to 
Julius the centurion, and sent to Rome, in conse- 


quence of his appeal, the ship which carries them 
touches at Sidon, and thence goes to Myra in Lycia, 
where the centurion taking passage in another ship 
bound for Italy, they sail to the Fair Havens in the 
island of Crete. Here St. Paul foretold the great 
damage and risk that would befall them, if they con- 
tinued their voyage, which they notwithstanding 
did, in order to obtain a more commodious port to 
winter in ; and when in the utmost danger, and 
they had given over all hope of life, he encouraged 
them, by foretelling that they should all escape safe 
to land, which accordingly happened in the island 
of Malta. Here St. Paul was bitten by a serpent, 
and not hurt ; healed the father of Publius, the chief 
man of the island, of a fever and bloody flux, and 
others also who had diseases ; and after a stay of 
three months was put on board a ship of Alexan- 
dria, which went first to Syracuse, thence to Rhe- 
gium, thence to Puteoli, from which place he went 
by land to Appii Forum, the Three Taverns, and so 
to Rome, and lived there two years, preaching the 
kingdom of God, and teaching the things which 
concern the Lord Jesus Christ. 

This is a relation of things which happened for 
the space of about thirty years after our Saviour's 
death. Very many and very wonderful, you see, are 
the events here recorded; not said to have fallen 
out in an obscure corner of the earth, where few 
could have opportunity to inquire into and fully 
know the truth ; but in a great variety of countries 
and cities, not only the most populous, but the most 
polite. Had this history been forged, it was the 
most impolitic thing imaginable to lay the scene so 
wide, to include so long a space of time, and men- 


tion so many persons by name. This was the cer- 
tain way to lay open the forgery to the conviction 
of all mankind, and prevent its deceiving of any one 
person. If it were written with an intention to im- 
pose on the world, is it possible to conceive how the 
author could have taken a more effectual method to 
frustrate his own end? None sure but a fool or a 
madman could have formed such a scheme ; and it 
is utterly impossible, in the nature of the thing, that 
it could have met with success. To render himself 
accountable for the truth of so great a variety of 
facts, in such distant parts of the world, and to 
make the whole credit of Christianity, the advance- 
ment of which is the only end he has in view, to 
depend upon the certainty of every one of these 
facts, does by no means bespeak the cunning of an 
artful impostor. If we read the Koran, we see little 
history in it ; that little is of ancient times long 
passed, and therefore not easy to be contradicted ; 
none at all, I think, of the times in or near which 
the book itself was written : and undoubtedly the 
fewer facts are mentioned, and the less explicit the 
narration, as to the circumstances of time and place, 
and the names of the persons concerned, so much 
the less liable must it necessarily be to contradic- 
tion. But to write a history of the time then im- 
mediately passed, in which are named many persons 
of the higliest rank and distinction, in which many 
large countries of a vast extent are travelled over, 
and about fifty different cities are visited, among 
them some of the greatest note the world ever had, 
such as Jerusalem, Ephesus, Corinth, Athens, Rome, 
and in which history are recorded the most surpris- 
ing events that ever came to jiass, could never be 


the way to impose on and deceive mankind, because 
the things asserted lay fairly open to examination ; 
and it was the easiest matter in the world to have 
confuted them, had they not been notorious truths. 
Besides, it is well known, that the time when these 
facts are said to have happened, and when this his- 
tory was written, was not in any of the darkest and 
most ignorant ages ; but in an inquisitive and know- 
ing age, an age of great discernment and letters, 
when learning was now arrived at its highest pitch, 
and there was a free communication between most 
countries, a great part of the world being subject to 
the Roman empire, so that intelligence was easy to 
be had from all the cities and places herein men- 
tioned, and the truth of things could not be con- 

Had we all the records and histories of that time 
now extant, I am persuaded we should see an abun- 
dant confirmation of every particular contained in 
the book of Acts. But as they are well nigh all 
lost, through the length and accidents of time, no- 
thing further is left, after having deplored this our 
unhappiness, than that we be the more diligent in 
examining the very few which remain. I proceed 
therefore now to the second thing proposed, which 
is to shew you how far the facts contained in the 
Acts of the Apostles are confirmed to us by other 
writers : and that I may reduce what I have to say 
under this head into some method, I shall first take 
notice of the ordinary occurrences of that time 
which are herein hinted or related, and the great 
personages named ; secondly, the several distinctions 
among the Jews that are here mentioned ; thii'dly, 
D 2 



the customs and manners of that time, whether 
Jewish, Grecian, or Roman, that are here referred 
to- fourthly, the places here spoken of; and, fifthly, 
the extraordinary and miraculous events recorded. 


What is ivritten in the history of the Acts of the 
ordinary occurrences of that time^ and of the 
great persons therein named, confirmed from 
other authors. 

FIRST, I shall compare what is here said of the 
ordinary occurrences of the time, and of the great 
personages named, with what is reported in other 
authors. The time we are speaking of is from the 
nineteenth of the reign of Tiberius to the ninth of 
the reign of Nero, from the 3982d year of the world 
to the 4012th, from the 785th of the building of 
Rome to the 815th, from the 33d of the vulgar 
Christian era to the 63d. 

In this time were four Roman emperors, who 
reigned successively, Tiberius, Caius, Claudius, and 
Nero. There is no mention made of any of these 
by name in the Acts of the Apostles excepting 
Claudius Csesar ^. The Caesar to whom St. Paul 
appealed ^ was Nero. During the first seven years 
of this period Judaea was a Roman province ^ and 
had a governor among them sent by the Romans : 
then it was made a kingdom again, and subject to 
Herod Agrippa ^ : three years after, upon the death 
of Agrippa, it was turned into a province again ^, 

^ Acts xi. 28. ^ Acts XXV. 11. 

c Jos. Antiq. I. 18. c. 5. §. 2. et c. 7. §. 10. et 1, 19. c. 2. §, 5. 
pr. et c. 5. §. I. 

'' Antiq. 1. 19. c. 5. §. i. et de Bel. 1. 2. c. 11. §. 5. 

•= Antiq. 1. 19. c. 8. §. 2. et c. 9. §. 2. et de Bell. 1. 2. c. 11. 
§. 6. Tacit. Hist. 5. 9. 

D 3 


and of the number of governors sent thither were 
both Felix and Festus : that our Saviour was cru- 
cified under the government of Pontius Pilate Ta- 
citus is witness ^ And although he continued go- 
vernor some years after, there was no occasion to 
make mention of him in the history of the Acts. 
The first person who is there spoken of as invested 
with supreme authority over the Jewish nation is 
Herod the king, that is, Agrippa, grandson of Herod 
the Great by his son Aristobulus, who was made 
king of Judaea, Samaria, and Csesarea, by Claudius 
Caesar », It is said of him in the book of Acts, that 
being at Ctesarea, upon a set day, he, arrayed in 
royal aj^parel, sat upon his throne, and made an 
oration to them. And the people gave a shout, say- 
ing. It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. 
And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, 
because he gave not God the glory: and he was 
eaten of ivorms, and gave up the ghost^K The 
account which Josephus gives us of this king's death 
agrees most remarkably herewith. He relates of 
him, " that he went to Caesarea, and that there, 
" upon a feast day, (which had been instituted in 
" honour of Caesar, and to which feast came a great 
•' concourse of his nobles and principal ofl^icers,) he 
" went to the theatre, arrayed with a most splendid 
" vestment, made all of silver ; that his flatterers 
" gave a shout from several parts of the surrounding 
" crowd, calling him God, and praying him to be 
" propitious to them : that he was so far from re- 
" buking, that he indeed received this impious flat- 

' Ann;il. 1. 15, 44. s Antiq. 1. 19. c. 8. §. 2, prope fin. 

'' Acts xii. 19, 21, 22, 23. 


" tery : and that immediately before he left the as- 
*^ sembly, he was smitten with most exquisite pain 
" in his bowels, which, continuing five days, finished 
" his life '." It is a thing, I doubt not, must occur 
to most readers, and therefore scarce deserves the 
remarking, that it is usual for those who are eaten 
of worms, to be attacked with a most exquisite pain 
in their bowels. Thus was it with Antiochus Epi- 
phanes ; A pain of the bowels, that ivas remediless, 
came upon him, and sore torments of the inner 
parts ^ , and soon after it is related of him, that 
worms rose up out of his hody^. Thus also was it 
with Herod the Great, who was this king's grand- 
father. Josephus, in describing his distemper, says, 
" that he had ulcers and severe pains in his bowels :" 
and a little after, " that he bred worms •"." The 
same was the case of the emperor Maximianus Ga- 
lerius : for though Eusebius expresses not the pain, 
yet such is his description of the disease as evidently 
shews he must have been full of torture in his 
bowels ". It has been made a question, (and what 
is there so plain that some learned men will not dis- 
pute?) whether the Herod mentioned in the twelfth 
chapter of the Acts, and the Agrippa of Josephus, 
were the same person, because of the difference of 

' Antiq. 1. 19. C. 8. §. 2. 'O Se Wii^oi; eVec^ajyer ©eoS (puvvi. Acts 

XU. 2 2. ^iBvq 8e ol KoKuKtq ra? aXXot; aXXoOtv (puvag ave^iuv, @€0V 

•irpcia-a'yop€vovr€(;. Jos. loco citatO. 

^ 2 Maccab. ix. 5. 
' 2 Maccab. ix. 9. 
'" Antiq. 1. 17. c. 6. §. 5. pr. et de Bell. 1. i. c. 33. §. 5. 

" 'AOpox juev yap icep) rcc [/.eaa. tZv aitopp'^ruv tov (rcof/.ccroi, aTtoffTtxirt^ 
jtyveTcci avT(f' el6' eXKOi; iv jSaflej arvpiyyS^€(;, Kal tovtuv aviajoc, vo[a.yj 
Kara iSv evSoTarw tm'kcx.yyQ/uv a<p' uv aXcKTov ti wA^flo? ^TKuKfiKwv Ppveiv, 

Hist. 1. 8. c. 16. et V^it. Con. 1. i. c. 57. 
D 4 


names ° ? but certainly, when the time and place of 
reigning, and circumstances of death, so exactly 
agree, the difference of name is of small importance, 
especially when it was no uncommon thing among 
the Jews to have two names : and it is no unreason- 
able thing to suppose that Agrippa, if he had not 
the name of Herod before, should take it upon him, 
when he was put in possession of all the dominions 
of his grandfather Herod the Great ^ whose gran- 
deur and munificence he very much affected. Ar- 
chelaus, who succeeded his father Herod in part 
only of his dominions, seems to have taken upon 
himself the same name : for he is expressly called 
Herod by Dio ^. The Syriac translation of the New 
Testament, which is very ancient, and approaches 
near to the times of the apostles themselves '", puts 
this matter out of all doubt : for there tlie reading 
of Acts xii. 1. is thus ; Herod the king, who is sur- 
named Agrippa : and in this reading all the MS. 
copies of that translation agree. I may add, that 
in the opinion of several learned men, well skilled in 
affairs of this nature, there are coins of this king 
now extant bearing the name of Herod ^ Josephus, 
who wrote his history for the use of foreigners, very 
properly mentions him always by his Roman name. 

° Particularly by Father Harduin, 

I' Jos. de Bell. 1. 2. c. 1 1. §. 5. 

1 L. 55. p. 567. And it is the opinion of Noldius, that 
Agrippa junior, the son of this king, was also called Herod, from 
a passage in the Talmud S.inhed. cap. Chelech. Vid. Hist. Idum. 
p. 390. 

■■ Vid. Father Simon's Crit. t. 2. c. 13. 

* Such as Spanheim, Cellarius, and Basnage. Vid. Cell. Dis- 
sert. Acad. p. 219. et Basn. Ann. j). 540. 


the name by which he was so long and well known 
in the city of Rome. St. Luke, who has occasion to 
speak only of a few actions of his while reigning in 
Judaea, as properly calls him by his Syriac name, 
the name which in all probability he most affected 
in his own country and dominions. 

§. 2. When this king died, Judsea being again 
made a province, after some others Felix was sent 
thither as governor by the emperor Claudius*. St. 
Paul, in his defence before this governor, says. For- 
asmuch as I knoiv, that thou hast been of many 
years a judge unto this nation^. The learned bi- 
shop Pearson thinks that he had been now governor 
five years and a half only : and this, when compared 
with the time of his three immediate predecessors, 
Cuspius Fadus, Tiberius Alexander, and Cumanus, 
might be well said to be many years, it being near 
as long again as the time allotted to each of them : 
for the government of all these three together could 
not last much above eight years and a half at the 
furthest. But, for any reasons that I have yet seen 
advanced by learned men to the contrary, Felix 
might have been at this time procurator of Judaea 
between seven and eight years. Joseph us does not 
so precisely fix the time of his being appointed go- 
vernor as that there should remain no doubt. It is 
true, after he has said, " And Claudius sends Felix 
" the brother of Pallas to preside over the affairs of 
" Judaea," he immediately adds, " and having now 
" completed the twelfth year of his reign, he gives 
" to Agrippa the tetrarchy of Philip and Batanea "." 

^ Jos. Antiq. 1. 20. c. 6. Tacit. Ann. 1. 12. 54. Hist. 5. 9. 
Suet. Claud, c. 28. 2. 9. 

" Acts xxiv. JO. ^ Anliq. 1. 20. c. 6. §. i. 


The thing in question is, whether we must under- 
stand the first part of this last sentence to look back 
to what he had before related ; as if he should have 
said, " While these affairs were transacting, Clau- 
" dius finished the twelfth year of his reign, and 
" then gave Agrippa the tetrarchy ;" or whether we 
must understand it as the beginning of a new rela- 
tion ; " And when Claudius had now completed his 
" twelfth year he gives Agrippa the tetrarchy." It 
is plain Eusebius interpreted it in this latter sense ; 
for he places the beginning of Felix's government in 
the eleventh year of the reign of Claudius y. The 
same reasons also which the learned bishop Pearson 
gives why Felix might be acquitted at the inter- 
cession of his brother Pallas, in the sixth year of 
Nero, equally extend to the seventh, if not to the 
eighth of that emperor's reign ^. 

y In Chron. 

^ Vid. Annal. Paulin. p. 17. The learned archbishop Usher 
says, in his Annals, that Felix was at this time in the tenth year 
of his government. He takes it for granted that the province 
\vas divided between Cumaniis and Felix, as reported by Tacitus, 
Annal. 1. 12. 54. But as Josephus says not one word of this 
division, and plainly relates that the whole province was under 
each of these successively, there is no great stress to be laid on 
the words of Tacitus. Josephus tells us that Claudius reigned 
thirteen years, eight months, and twenty days. Let us supj)ose 
that Felix came into his government in the beginning of his 
twelfth year, in the second or third month of that year, and that 
8t. Paul appeared before Felix in the fifth of Nero, that is, after 
he had reigned four years and nine months ; this makes seven 
years and four months. Two years after this, Felix went to Rome, 
and found Burrhus and Pallas both living. Jos. Antiq. 1. 20. c. 6. 
§. 9. And this he might well do, it being now but the seventh 
of Nero, and they were not put to death till the ninth of Nero, 
C. Marius Celsus and L. Asinius CJallus being consuls. Tac. Ann. 


It is related of this Felix in the book of Acts, 
that he had a wife whose name was Drusilla, which 
was a Jewess ^. Joseph us gives us a particular ac- 
count of this matter : he says, that Drusilla, daugh- 
ter of Herod Agrippa, king of Judaea, and sister of 
Agrippa junior, was by her brother placed in mar- 
riage to Azizus, king of the Emesenes, who con- 
sented to be circumcised that he might obtain her : 
that Felix, when procurator of Judaea, having seen 
her, was greatly taken with her beauty ; and send- 
ing a friend of his, named Simon, who was a Jew, 
and took upon him to be a magician, persuaded her 
to leave her husband, and be married to him, pro- 
mising to make her a happy woman, if she did not 
reject him : and that she, in order to avoid the envy 
of her sister Bernice, who had done her no little in- 
jury upon the account of her beauty, was prevailed 
with to break through the Jewish laws, and be mar- 
ried to Felix ^. It is true, Tacitus the Roman his- 
torian tells us that this Felix was married to Dru- 
silla the granddaughter of Cleopatra and Antony '^. 
But this is noways inconsistent with what Josephus 
relates : for Suetonius informs us that he was the 
husband of three queens ^, meaning, I suppose, three 
kings' daughters : two of these were named Dru- 

1. 14. 51. 65. Even St. Paul himself migkt in this case arrive at 
Rome in the fourth month of Nero's eighth year ; the emperor 
Claudius dying the thirteenth day of October. Seneca utiokoK. 
Dio, p. 688. The firing of Rome, and the persecution following, 
did not happen till Nero's eleventh year was well advanced. 
Vid. Tac. 

* Ch. xxiv. ver. 24. 

^ Antiq. 1. 20. c. 6. §. i, 2. 

' Hist. 1. 5. 9. fin. 

^ In Claud. 28. 2. triuin reijfinarum maritum. 


silla. She that was granddaughter to Cleopatra 
and Antony was daughter to Juba king of Mau- 
ritania, by their daughter Cleopatra "". 

It is further said of this governor, in the history 
of the Acts, that he hoped also that money should 
have been given him of Paul, that he might loose 
him ; ivherefore he sent for him the oftener, and 
communed with him^. This well agrees with the 
character given him both by Josephus and Tacitus. 
The former relates, that " Jonathan the high priest, 
" who had petitioned Caesar to send him procurator 
" of Judaea, lest he liimself should incur the blame 
" of his maladministration, oftentimes admonished 
" him to amend his conduct in the government of 
" Judaea, insomuch that he became not seldom trou- 
" blesome to him. For," adds Josephus, " frequent 
" admonition is grievous to those who are deter- 
" mined to be unjust." To get rid of the tiresome 
importunity of this high priest, who would have had 
him act a more just and upright part, he, by pro- 
mising large sums of money, corrupted Doras, a 
most intimate friend of Jonathan, to employ ruffians 
to murder him, which he accordingly did ^. A little 
after, Josephus adds, " When Porcius Fcstus was 
" sent by Nero to succeed him in the government, 
" the chief of the Jews inhabiting Csesarea went up 
'* to Rome to accuse Felix ; and he had surely been 
" punished for his vile practices, and wicked acts of 
" injustice towards the Jews, had not Nero l)een 
" very indulgent to the entreaties of his brother 
" Pallas, who was then in high favour''." Tacitus, 

*^ Vid. Suet, in Calig. 26. I. Dio, 49. 41 1. b. et 51. 454. a. et 
459. b. c. Pint. Anton, p. 955. d. ^ Acts xxiv. 26. 

« Antic]. 1. 20. c. 7. §. 5. '' Ibid. ■5. 9. 


in exact agreement herewith, says, " that Felix, de- 
" pending on the power his brother Pallas had at 
" court, thought he might do all manner of wicked- 
" ness with impunity \" And in another place, " that 
" he exercised a despotic and absolute power in a 
" base and servile manner, practising all sorts of 
" cruelty and lust '*." How very proper was it to 
preach to such a person of righteousness, teinper- 
ance, and judgment to come ' ! how deeply must his 
conscience smite him ! what just reason had he to 
tremhle ! 

It is said in the Acts, that Porcius Festus came 
into Felix's room "\ It is also expressly affirmed in 
the place I have but just quoted from Josephus, 
" that Porcius Festus was sent by Nero to succeed 
" Felix''." The sacred historian adds, that then 
Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure, left 
Paul bound '^, i. e. a prisoner: and doubtless, such 
a governor, at the time he was obliged to deliver up 
his power, would gladly catch at any popular act, 
and readily do any thing that he thought might con- 
tribute to allay the heats raised against him, in 
order to prevent, if possible, the people's following 
him to court with their accusations. Thus Albinus, 
as Josephus relates, another most corrupt governor 

' At non frater ejus cognomento Felix j3ari moderatione age- 
bat, jam pridem Judseee impositus, et cuncta nialefacta sibi im- 
pune ratus, tanta potentia subnixo. Annal. 1. 12. c. 54. 

'^ Per omnem saevitiam ac libidinem, jus regiuni servili ingenio 
exercuit. Hist. 1. 5. 9. 

' Vid. Acts xxiv. 25. 

'" Acts xxiv. 27. 

■' Antiq. 1. 20. c. 7. •§. 9. vid. et de Bell. 1, 2. c. 14. §. i. pr. 

'^ Acts xxiv. 27. 


of Judaea P, having learnt that Gessius Florus was 
coming to succeed him, wilHng to make a show of 
doing some great favour to the people of Jerusalem, 
made a general gaol-delivery ^. 

§. 3. We read in the history of the Acts, that 
Jdng Agrijypa and Bernice came into C(Esarea to 
salute Festus •', that is, to congi'atulate him upon 
his arrival into his new government. We learn 
from Josephus who these persons were : he informs 
us, that Agrippa king of Judaea (of whom we have 
before spoken) left a son named Agrippa, and three 
daughters ^ : the eldest of which, named Bernice, he 
in his lifetime married to his own brother Herod 
king of Chalcis ' : that the emperor Claudius did 
not give to young Agrippa the kingdom of Judaea 
upon his father's demise, because of his youth, he 
being then no more than seventeen years of age, 
but made it a Roman province " : that his uncle 
Herod dying four years after, the emperor made 
him a grant of the kingdom of Chalcis ^, and four 
years after that bestowed on him a much larger 
kingdom in the lieu of Chalcis y, to which additions 
were made by Nero in the first year of his reign ^ : 
" that Bernice, becoming a widow by the death of 
" Herod king of Chalcis, who was both her uncle 
" and her husband, lived a long time in widowhood : 

P See his character, de Bell. 1. i. c. 14. §. i. Antiq. 1. 20. c. 8. 
§. 2, et c. 10. §. I. 

1 Antiq. 1. 20. c. 8. §. 5. ■■ Ch. xxv. 13. 

^ Antiq. 1. 19, c, 9. §. T. ' Ibid. c. 5. §. i. fin. 

" Ibid. c. 9. §. 2. et de Bell. 1. 2. c. 1 1. §. 6. 

" L. 20. c. 4. §. 2. fin. 

>■ Ibid. c. 6. §. 1. et de Bell. 1. 2. c. i 2. §. 8. 

' Antiq. 1. 20. c. 7. §. 4. et dc licU. 1. 2. c. 13. ^. 2. 


*' that the report of an undue familiarity between 
" her and her brother prevailing, she persuaded Po- 
" lemon king of Cilicia to be circumcised, and to 
" marry her, thinking thereby to convince the world 
" that the accusations spread of her were false and 
" slanderous : that Polemon was the more easily 
" prevailed with because of her riches : that the 
" marriage however did not continue long ; but that 
" Bernice, through incontinence, as the fame was, 
" left Polemon, who, together with his marriage, bid 
" adieu also to the Jewish religion =^." Whether this 
visit to Festus was made before she became Polc- 
mon's wife cannot easily be determined. It is clear, 
however, that some years after this she was with 
her brother at Jerusalem ^ ; and after that, in the 
reign of the emperor Vespasian, she went with him 
to Rome ^ ; and that her character was well known 
in that city is fully evident from the sixth Satire of 
Juvenal 'I 

That kings who were dependent on Rome, made 
by the emperor, and unmade again at his pleasure, 
should pay great respect to all the Roman governors 
that were near them, is but natural to suppose. We 
have a remarkable instance of it in this king's fa- 
ther, who being at Tiberias, five neighbouring kings 
made him a visit : while they were with him came 

"> Antiq. 1. 20. c. 6. §. 3. ^ De Bell. 1. 2. c. 16. §. 3. 

•^ Xiphilin. ex Dione, 1. 66. p, 752. b. 

'' Ver. 155. Adamas notissinuis, et Berenices 

In digito factus pretiosior. Hunc dedit olim 
Barbarus incestse, dedit hunc Agrippa sorori, 
Observant ubi testa mero pede sabbatha reges, 
Et vetus indulget senibus dementia porcis. 
Vid. et Tac. Hist. 1. 2. n. 2. et 81. Suet. Tit. c. 7. 2. 7. ct Au- 
rel. Vict. Epit. c. 10. 7. Vid, et Dio, 1. 66. p. 753, d. 


Mavsus president of Syria. Josephus adds, " that 
" the king, preserving the respect due to the Ro- 
" mans, went out of the city seven furlongs to meet 
" him, and that the other kings were in the coach 
" with him : that the concourse of so many kings 
" giving umbrage to the Roman governor, he sent 
" some of his retinue to each, enjoining them to go 
" home immediately *"." 

King Agrippa, being informed of Paul's case by 
Festus, was desirous to hear him. Bernice seems 
also to have had the same curiosity ; for she accom- 
panied her brother to the place of hearing ^. St. 
Paul there, addressing himself to the king, says, 
/ think mi/self happy, hing Agrippa, because I 
shall answer for myself this day before thee, touch- 
ing all the things whereof I am accused of the 
Jews ; especially because I hiow thee to be expert 
in all customs and questioiis which are amofig the 
Jews^. That this king should be brought up in 
the knowledge of all the Jewish rites and customs, 
and therefore should well understand the disputes 
that were amongst them, is nothing more than 
might well be expected from the character of his 
father. Such was his concern for the Jewish reli- 
gion, that, when the emperor Caius told him he had 
ordered his statue to be erected in the Temple at 
Jerusalem, he fainted away at the hearing it ^ ; and, 
as Philo says, wrote him a long and pathetic letter, 
wherein, among other things, he ofiered him back 
the kingdom he had bestowed on him, and all his 
favours, so as that his country rites might not be 

'■ Anti(|. 1. 19. c. 8. §. ]. ' Acts xxv. 22, 23. 

•'' Cli. xxvi. 2, 3. ■' riiilo lie Legal, ji. 1030, a. b. 


altered K Josephus relates the affair thus : that after 
having by a rich banquet so pleased the emperor 
that he gave him repeated encouragement to ask of 
him whatever he further needed towards his happi- 
ness, he only requested of him that he would think 
no more of placing his statue in the Temple : and 
this he did, although at the same time he judged it 
to be with the manifest hazard of his life''. He 
afterwards obtained a decree from the emperor 
Claudius, that the Jews might enjoy the free use of 
their own religious rites throughout the whole Ro- 
man empire'. When he came first to Jerusalem, 
after being made king of Judaea, he offered sacrifices 
of thanksgiving in plenty, leaving nothing undone 
which the law required. Wherefore, also, he or- 
dered a great number of Nazarites to be shaved '". 
When some bold and daring youths of Dora, a city 
in Phoenicia, had placed a statue of Caesar in the 
synagogue of the Jews, he was very highly pro- 
voked, (because it was in effect the destruction of 
the laws of his^ country,) and immediately went to 
Publius Petronius, the governor of Syria, and ob- 
tained from him a decree that the criminals should 
be brought before the governor by Proclus Vitellius 
the centurion ; and that the magistrates of the city, 
unless they were willing to be esteemed parties, 
should inform the centurion who they were ". Jo- 
sephus further informs us, that his constant resi- 
dence was at Jerusalem, and that he took delight in 
living there, and punctually observed the laws of 

' Philo de Legat. p. 1037, d. Ylavrot, ii'naKKdrTOjJMt evoi; toC fji-y] 
KiVVjO^vai TO. itdrpioc. ^ Alltiq. 1. I 8. C. 9. §. 7, 8. 

' Ibid. 1. 19. c. 5. §. 3. "^ Ibid. c. 6, §. i. 

" Ibid. c. 6. §. 3. 



his country : that he kept himself free from pollu- 
tion, conducting his life with all purity; nor was 
there a day passed, in which he did not offer the 
sacrifice required by the law ". Can we make the 
least doubt, that a person who took such pains and 
ran such hazards to preserve the Jewish rites, and 
was so exact in the practice of them himself, would 
be careful to educate his children in the knowledge 
and observance of the same ; more especially when 
he spent so much of his time at Jerusalem, the great 
school for that sort of learning ? That accordingly, 
both Agrippa his son, and Bernice his daughter, 
notwithstanding their other faults, were not a little 
zealous for the Jewish customs, is apparent from 
divers parts of their conduct. Agrippa would not 
permit his youngest sister Drusilla to be joined in 
wedlock to Epiphanes, the son of king Antiochus, 
because he refused to forsake his own rehgion and 
embrace the Jewish, although he had promised her 
father that he would ; and obliged Azizus king of 
the Emesenes to be circumcised in order to marry 
her P. Bernice also persuaded Polemon king of Ci- 
licia to submit to circumcision before he became her 
husband *i; and under the government of Florus, 
when things were in the utmost disorder, and the 
war was rushing on, she tarried at Jerusalem thirty 
days, to perform the various ceremonies requisite in 
the accomplishment of a vow she had made, al- 
though most rudely and barbarously treated by Flo- 
rus ; and more than once ran the hazard of her life 
because she interceded with him to restrain his sol- 
diers from murdering the people •". 

° Antiq. 1. i8. c. 7. §. 3. p L. 20. c. 6. §. i. 

1 Ibid. §. 3. ' De Bell. 1. 2. c. 15. §. i. 



A further account of the occurrences of the times, 
and of the persons named. 

^. 1. I HAVE already observed that there are 
but very few histories of the transactions of this 
period which have escaped the injury of time, and 
are come down safe to us. Those few are very 
short, and give us but an imperfect view of affairs 
even of the greatest consequence, and are often en- 
tirely silent with regard to what passed in several 
distant provinces. No wonder therefore if we learn 
not from them that Sergius Paulus was some part 
of this time proconsul of Cyprus. If I mistake not, 
there is no mention made in any history now extant, 
excepting the book of Acts ^ of any one thing that 
happened in this province, or of any governor of it, 
during this whole period. However, it is worth ob- 
serving that St. Luke has given the true title to the 
governor of this province : for although it was a 
praetorian province *, yet, the government of it being 
in the disposal of the people, Dio assures ^ us, and 
we have abundant instances in other authors^ to 
confirm us in the truth of what he says, that the 
governor was called proconsul. It is true, Augustus 

« Ch, xiii. ' Vid. Strab. 1. 14. fin. p. 685. et 1. 17. fin. 

" L. 54. p. 523. Vid. et Suet. Aug. c. 47. et Dio, 1. 53. p. 

503. 504. 505- 

^ Crete, Achaia, and Gallia Narbonensis, were, all three, prae- 
torian provinces; and yet are, in exact conformity to the words 
of Dio and Suetonius, said to be under proconsuls. Vid. Strab. 
1. 17. fin. Tacit. Annal. 1. 3. c. 38. 1. 1. c. 76. et Hist, 1. i. c. 48, 
E 2 


Caesar, in dividing the provinces between himself 
and the people, at first retained Cyprus to himself, 
and it was governed by an officer sent by him, called 
the lieutenant of Caesar, and propraetor ; but after- 
wards he gave it to the people in lieu of a province 
of theirs, and then the governor sent thither was 
named proconsul '', in exact agreement with St. 
Luke : for the word we have translated deputy y is 
that made use of by the Greek writers to signify 

^. 2. And although the province of Greece or 
Achaia was, at the division made by Augustus, 
granted to the people '', yet afterwards under Tibe- 
rius, at the entreaty of the province itself, was it 
taken into the emperor's care, and governed by his 
lieutenant, who was projDraetor^ But in the fourth 
year of the emperor Claudius it was restored to the 
people, and the title of the Roman governor was 
again that of proconsul^. The emperor Nero, who 
succeeded him, took it from the people a second 
time, and made the Grecians a free people ^. If we 
inquire into the time when St. Paul was brought 
before Gallio at Corinth, we shall find it to be the 
latter end of the reign of Claudius, probably in his 
thirteenth or fourteenth year ^, when, according to 
Suetonius, Dio, and Pausanias, it was a Roman pro- 

» Dio, 1. 53. p. 504, a. et 1. 54. p. 523, b. 

y Acts xiii. 7. ^ Dio, 1. 52. p. 503. D. Strab. 1. 17. fin. 

^ Tacit. Ann. 1. i. c, 76. 

•^ Suet. Claud, c. 25, 10. et 42, 3. Dio, 1. 60. p. 680, e. 
Pausan. Achaic. p. 222. (Han. 428.) 

^ Pliii. Nat, Hist. I. 4. c. 6. (vol. i. p. 196. 4, 5, ult. ed.) 
Pausan. loco citato. Philostrat. Apoll. v. 14. Suet. Vespas. c. 8. 
n. 21. ^ Vid. Annal. Paul. p. 13. 


vince belonging to the people. It is with the great- 
est accuracy therefore, you see, that the Roman go- 
vernor at this time is said by St. Luke to be pro- 
consul of Achaia ; for so the word we render deputy 
properly signifies ^ : and this is the more remark- 
able, because several of the classic authors, when 
writing of events that happened not long before this 
time, have been mistaken in the titles they have 
given to governors of provinces, as is abundantly 
proved by Pitiscus in his notes on Suetonius f, and 
cardinal Norisius in his Cenotaphium Pisanum &, and 
many other learned writers. 

The historians of this time say little or nothing 
of the affairs of Achaia, nor do they tell us who was 
governor of this province under the emperor Clau- 
dius. But there is very great probability that Gallio, 
mentioned by St. Luke as proconsul, was no other 
than the brother of Seneca the moral philosopher, 
whose writings are so well known amongst us. 
Learned men are generally of this opinion : and as 
there is no one thing, that I know of, which renders 
it unlikely, so there are many things concurring 
which may induce us to believe it. That Marcus 
Annseus Seneca the rhetorician had three sons, 
named Novatus, Seneca, and Mela, appears from the 
dedication of his Book of Controversies to them : 
that Novatus the eldest changed his name for Gal- 
lic*', (probably as having been adopted by Junius 

•= Acts xviii. 12, 

*■ Vid. in Aug. c. 3. n. 16. and the persons cited there. 

e Dissert. 2. c. 1 1. in the last edition, torn. 3, p. 327, 328. 

*" Compare the dedication of Marcus Seneca with Eusebius's 
Chron. Tacit. Annal. 1. 16, 17. Dio, 1. 61. p. 689. et 1. 62. p. 
713. Compare what Seneca says to his mother Helvia, de Con- 
E 3 


Gallic, so frequently mentioned in Seneca the fa- 
ther's works, and often called by him our'' GalUo,) 
sufficiently appears from the writings of the two 
Senecas, Tacitus, Dio, and Eusebius : that he at- 
tained to the honours of the Roman state, is fully 
evident from what Seneca the philosopher writes to 
his mother Helvia ^, in order to comfort her in his 
own absence, being at that time under sentence of 
banishment in the isle of Corsica : that he had been 
in Achaia also, seems no less evident from one of 
Seneca's Epistles ' : that his temper and manners 
were every way agreeable to what is said of him in 
the history of the Acts '", we learn from the character 
given him by his brother Seneca ". 

That he took not cognisance of the cause which 
was brought before him proceeded not from his stu- 
pidity, indolence, or negligence, l)ut from his strict 
adherence to the Roman laws. Some indeed, of 
late, have represented him as entertaining an opin- 
ion that the civil magistrate had nothing to do in 
matters of religion. But this is a thought that never 
entered a Roman heart ; and such must be entire 

sol. c. 1 6. " Respice fratres meos — alter honores indnstria con- 
" secutus est, alter sapienter contempsit," with what Tacitus re- 
lates, Ann. 1. i6, 17; "Mela, quibiis Gallic et Seneca parentibus 
" natus, petitione honoruni abstinuerat," &c. Vid. et Ann. 1. 15. 
73. et Senec. de Vita Beata, pr. et Nat. Qusest. 1. 4. prajf. 

' M. Anniei Senec. Controv. 13. et frequenter alibi. 

^ Loco citato. 

' Ep. 104. pr. Vid. Lips, ad Tac. Ann. 1. 2. 87. Excnr. P. 
where he proves that the title Dominus was given to fathers, 
brothers, and others. 

'" Acts xviii. i2,&c. 

" Nat. Quast. 1. 4. praef. Vid. Selden's Letter to Bishop Usher, 
vol. 4. p. 17 I 2. 


strangers to the history of that great and flourishing 
people, who can impute this their novel invention to 
any wise and good Roman. It is well known that 
the affairs of religion were always a principal part 
of the care of the Roman magistrates and senate ; 
and as they had many laws on that subject, so we 
frequently read of their execution. The true reason 
why Gallio did not interpose in the affair brought 
before him, was because the senate and emperors 
had by various decrees °, and particularly the then 
reigning emperor Claudius, allowed the Jews every 
where under their dominion to govern themselves 
according to their own laws in all matters of reli- 
gion P. This being such, he esteemed it not of his 
cognisance ; therefore he says, / ivill he no judge 
of such matter's ^ : had you accused this man of in- 
justice, violence, or crimes against the state, I would 
willingly have heard you ; but I am not sent here 
as a judge of your religious differences ; these are 
to be rectified amongst yourselves. The accusation 
brought against St. Paul by the Jews was, that he 
persuaded men to worship God contrary to their 
law^. Of this themselves were to determine, not 
the Roman governor. The speech which Porcius 
Festus makes to king Agrippa in the like case may 
help to clear this : They brought no accusations of 
such things as I supposed^ hut had certain ques- 
tions against him of their own superstition : and 
hecause I doubted of such manner of questions^ 
that is, did not think them to appertain to my juris- 
diction, / asked him, whether he woidd go to Jeru^ 

° Vid. Joseph. Antiq. 1. 14, c. 10. §. 2. et 23. 1. 16. c. 2. §. 3. 
c. 6. $. 2. P Ibid. i. 19. c. 5. §. 2, 3. 1 Acts xvlii. 15. 

' Acts xviii. 13. 

E 4 


salem, and there he judged of these matters ^ be- 
fore the sanhedrim, as esteeming them to be the 
proper judges of such causes. 

^. 3. Agabus the prophet foretold that there 
should be a great famine throughout all the world. 
It is added by St. Luke, which came to jmss in the 
days oj" Claudius Ccesar^. It is very certain that 
the word oiKovfMevYj, which we render world, is often 
taken in a more restrained sense ", and signifies one 
country, and particularly that of Judaea. It is also 
evident from Josephus, that there was a sore famine 
in Judaea during the fifth, sixth, and not improbably 
the seventh year also of Claudius ^, insomuch that 
not a few perished at Jerusalem for want, and many 
more must have done so, had it not been for the 
charitable care of Helena, Izates, and others. If 
therefore we take the prophecy in this sense, that 
there should be a great dearth throughout the whole 
land of Judaea, (and the words will well bear that 
sense,) nothing is more plain than that it was ex- 
actly fulfilled. But Eusebius, who lived in the latter 
end of the third, and the beginning of the fourth 
centuries, understands it in a more extensive sense, 
and tells us that the event was accordingly y ; and 
expressly says that this event was delivered down 
by authors who were no friends to the Christian 
religion z. There were many such extant in his 

" Acts XXV. 1 8, 19, 20. ' Acts xi. 28. 

" It signifies an inhabited land of any dimensions, Is. xiii. 9. 
That it is restrained to a particular country, vid. Ps. Ixxi. 8. 
That it is put for Judaea, vid. Is. x. 23. and xiii. 5. and xxiv. 1, 4. 
Luke xxi. 26. 

' Antiq. 1. 20. c. 2. $. 6. et c. 4. §. 2. 

y Hist. 1. 2. c. J2. et Chron. ^ Ibid. c. 8. 


time, that are now irrecoverably lost. Why then 
may we not believe that the famine spread much 
further than the limits of Judaea, especially when it 
is acknowledged that this is agreeable to the more 
usual sense of the word oiKovfxevv]? 

A universal famine indeed at one and the same 
time, if great and pressing, must bid fair to destroy 
the whole human race : but may it not have been a 
progressive famine, which passed from one country 
to another, not oppressing too great a part of the 
world at once, but proceeding from one part to an- 
other, till it had visited the whole ? It is not im- 
probable that St. Luke in this place, as is usual with 
all historians, lays together in few words what hap- 
pened in a course of some years. There cannot be 
the least doubt but that the prophecy preceded the 
event some space of time : nor is it reasonable to 
suppose that Barnabas and Saul were sent to Jeru- 
salem with a supply till it began to be wanted. It 
is true, at the beginning of the relation it is said, 
j4tid in those days ; but is there any necessity of 
confining the words those days to the last-men- 
tioned year, which was that Barnabas and Saul 
spent at Antioch ? may they not very reasonably be 
extended so as to include the whole time from the 
day that the conversion of Cornelius and his friends 
was made known to the preachers who went to 
Antioch, hinted at in the twentieth verse % which 
probably happened in the last year of Caius Cali- 
gula ? That the prophecy was delivered in his reign 
seems confirmed by the account given of the fulfil- 
ment in these words, which came to pass in the 

^ Acts xi. 3o. 


days of Claudius CcBsar ^ : a manner of expression, 
which, I think, would hardly have been used if the 
prophecy had been delivered in the same reign in 
which it was fulfilled. True, indeed, there are some 
copies wherein it is read, which also came to pass 
in the days of Claudius Ccesar. But the best 
copies •^ read it as our English translators have ren- 
dered it : and indeed, were the other the true read- 
ing, I should be apt to think that those words, oari'; 
KOI eyev€To, which also came to pass, were a paren- 
thesis, and then the prophecy would be more de- 
terminate, as fixing the time when the famine was 
to happen ; that there should he a great dearth 
throughout all the world in the days of Claudius 
C(Esar. I make no doubt 'but the prophecy was 
understood by those that heard it, as what was to 
come to pass in the space of a few years ; and so it 
certainly did, if delivered at the end of the reign of 
Caius : for a famine began in some parts in the se- 
cond, if not in the first year of Claudius ^ ; and that 
in Judaea began the latter end of his fourth. 

I have not yet seen a suflficient reason given why 
we may not conclude that the scarcity we read of, 
as having affected any country during the reign of 
Claudius, was part of this great famine foretold. It 
is indeed said, " that the persons who heard this 
" prophecy delivered, understood it to relate to 
" Judaea only, because there is not the least hint of 
" any thought of sending relief to any other place ; 
" nor yet of any hesitation in taking the resolution 
" to send relief thithei-, for fear their own circum- 

Acts xi. 28. "^ Alex. Cantab. Lincoln. Vulg. yEthiop. 

Vid. i'agi Crit. in Baron, anno Doni. 42. n. 7. 


" stances might be necessitous through the ap- 
" proaching famine ^." But is it certain that the 
disciples formed this resolution at the time when 
the prophecy was delivered ? might it not, for any- 
thing appears to the contrary, be a determination 
made by them when they heard that their brethren 
in Judaea began to be in straits ? and supposing it 
to be formed when the prophecy was first given, if 
they understood it not of a famine that should op- 
press the whole world in one and the same year, but 
of a famine that should proceed gradually from one 
country to another, till every part had felt it ; might 
they not very reasonably determine to send relief 
to their neighbours, when under this calamity, ac- 
cording to their ability ? would not this be a ready 
way to engage their neighbours to return the obli- 
gation, and to relieve them when under the like 
distress ? It is highly probable, that the design of 
this prophecy was to put them upon saving and lay- 
ing up all they could possibly spare from their ne- 
cessary uses, till the famine should reach themselves 
or neighbours, that they might be the better able to 
supply their own or others' wants : and the plain 
reason why Judaea was first in their thoughts, and 
they determined to send relief to that country, ra- 
ther than to any other, was because of the exceed- 
ing great distress that country must necessarily be 
in, at such a time, from the very great number of 
poor that were always in it. The Jews from all 
parts of the world sent alms to Judaea even in times 
of the greatest plenty. If so universal a collection 
of alms were necessary in times of plenty, how much 

^ Lardner's Cred. vol. i. p. 522, 523. 


more necessary must it have been in a time of fa- 
mine : the crowds of people that flocked to Jeru- 
salem upon account of divine worship, caused a 
scarcity to be felt there immediately in the most 
sensible manner. Josephus tells us, that when Ces- 
tius Gallus came to Jerusalem at the feast of un- 
leavened bread, not less than three millions of peo- 
ple came about him, entreating him to have com- 
passion on the miserable state of their nation, and 
crying out that Florus was the pest of the country ^ 
I may also add, that we have no room to doubt but 
that those who converted the Christians at Antioch 
put them in mind of the wants of their brethren in 

I see no reason as yet, therefore, why we may 
not conclude that not only the famine which was in 
Judaea in the fifth, sixth, and seventh of Claudius, 
mentioned by Josephus s, but that the famine which 
happened in Rome the second of Claudius, men- 
tioned by Dio '', that in Syria, mentioned by Oro- 
sius, in the fourth of Claudius \ that which afflicted 
Greece about the ninth of Claudius, when a bushel 
of wheat was sold for one pound eleven shillings 
sterling^, and that which prevailed in Italy and 

f De Bell. 1. 2. c. 14. §. 4. 

8 Antiq. 1. 20. c. 2. §. 6. et c. 4. §. 2. He mentions a great 
famine under Claudius, when Ishmael was high priest, Antiq. 
1. 3. c. 15. prope fin. : but he herein plainly contradicts himself: 
for Ishmael the son of Phabi was twice high priest, once made 
so by Valerius Gratus, afterwards by Agrippa under Nero. Vid. 
Antiq. 1. 18. c. 2. §. 2. et 1. 20. c. 7. §. 8. He says, in this fa- 
mine an assaron of meal was sold for four drachmas. 

•' L. 60. p. 671. 

1 L. 7. c. 6. compared with what he says of Syria, 1. 1. c. 2. 

'' Euseb. Chron. 


Rome the tenth and eleventh of Claudius, mentioned 
by Tacitus^, Suetonius "*, Eusebius", and Orosius^ 
were in part the fulfilment of this prophecy. 

^. 4. It is said in the Acts that the emperor 
Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from 
Rome P. Of this fact Suetonius is witness, who ex- 
pressly tells us that Claudius expelled the Jews 
from Rome ^. Dio indeed says that he did not ex- 
pel them, but forbad all their religious assemblies ■". 
This was in effect an expulsion ; if he would not 
permit them to assemble on their sabbaths, and the 
other days, which their law enjoined, they could 
live there no longer as Jews. However, Suetonius, 
who flourished in the times of the emperors Trajan 
and Hadrian, may be supposed to know the true 
state of the fact better than one who lived under 
the emperors Severus, Caracalla, and Alexander, 
near a hundred years after ^ Orosius also says that 
the Jews were expelled by Claudius, and alleges 
Josephus as an author who relates it *. There is no 
such relation in the copies of Josephus which are 
come down to us ; but whether there might not be 
in those of his time, which was the beginning of the 

' Ann. 1. 12.43. 

™ Claud, c. 18.3. " Arctiore annona ob assiduas sterilitates." 
This expression not a little confirms my notion. Crops had 
failed for many years past ; some years probably in one country, 
and some years in another of those countries from whence they 
used to import corn to Rome. 

" Chron. 

° L. 7. c. 6. prope fin. The learned Basnage is of my opinion. 
" Oraculum annos etiam omnes qui regnante Claudio fame pal- 
" lidi complexum fuerit." Annal. p. 521. Vid, et p. 553. n. 4. 

P Ch. xviii. 2. ^ Claud, c. 25. 12, ^ L. 60. p. 669. 

» Vid. Fabric. Biblioth. ' L. 7. c. 6. 


fifth century, is not, I think, so very improbable a 
thing " as some have represented it. 

§.5. That the island of Melita, now called Malta, 
was at the time of St. Paul's voyage in the hands of 
the Romans, I suppose no one can doubt : that it 
was taken from the Carthaginians by Atilius Regu- 
lus the consul, Orosius is witness ^ : that in TuUy's 
time it was under the praetor of Sicily, is evident 
from his accusation of Verres y : that after this it 
could not be taken from the Romans before St. Paul 
made his voyage, cannot, I think, admit of a sus- 
picion : that before the Romans had it the Phoe- 
nicians and Carthaginians inhabited it, appears from 
Scylax and Diodorus Siculus ^. We may very rea- 
sonably suppose that at the time of St. Paul's being 
there the generality of the people were their de- 
scendants : hence it is said in the book of Acts, 
The harhm'oiis people shelved us no little kind- 
ness^: for all that did not use the Greek language 
were by the Greeks named barbarous ^. That the 
governor, who resided in this island on behalf of the 
Romans, was called Trpcoro^, or, as we have rendered 
it, the chief man '^y is evident from an inscription 
that was found there by Quintinus Heduus, in which 
the person named is called npaTog MeA/ra/wv ^. 

^. 6. Claudius Lysias the Roman officer, p?'crfectus 
cohortiSf or chief captain of the band, says to St. 
Paul, when he had taken him out of the hands of 
the Jews, who would have put him to death. Art 

" Vid. Hudson. Joseph, p. io6o. n. g. et 1065. n. b. " L. 4. 
c. 8. y L. 4. 18. et 46. ' L. 5. « Ch. xxviii. 2. 

'• Strabo, 1. 14. p. 455. *" Acts xxviii. 7. '^ Johan. Quint. 

Hcduus ad Soph. Epist. an. 1533. Vid. Bochart. Phaleg. p. 2. 
1. 1. p. 552, 547. Grot, in loc. Cellarium, vol. i. p. 655. 


thou that Egyptian, ivhich before these daijs mad- 
est an uproar ^ arid leddest out into the wilderness 
four thousand men that were murderers ^ f The 
word which we translate here murderers is the La- 
tin word sicarii, so called from a little sword or 
dagger which they wore concealed under their 
clothes, and resembled the Roman sica. The Jew- 
ish historian Josephus, immediately after he has 
given us an account of the rise of these sicarii, or 
murderers, (for with this concealed weapon they 
daily committed many murders,) adds the story of 
the Egyptian impostor^, who persuaded a multitude 
of the common people to go with him from Jerusa- 
lem. This multitude probably were the four thou- 
sand sicarii mentioned by Lysias. Having led them 
round through the wilderness, and brought them to 
the mount of Olives, and in his way having in- 
creased his number to thirty thousand men, Felix 
the Roman governor met and attacked him. The 
Egyptian, perceiving at the same time that the ge- 
nerality of the Jewish nation were so far from join- 
ing with him as he had flattered himself they would, 
that they made head against and opposed him, im- 
mediately fled with a few of his chief adherents, the 
most of which were either taken or slain ^ ; but as 
for himself he made his escape. This happening 

^ Acts xxi. 38. 

^ De Bell. Jud. 1. 2. c. 13. §. 5. Antiq. 1. 20. c. 7. §. 6. 10. 

6 It is very difficult to reconcile the two accounts given of this 
matter by Josephus. Mr. Ward, the learned professor of Greshani 
college, seems to have conquered this difficulty. Vid. Additions 
to Lardner's Cred. vol. i. 2. I have told the story as briefly as I 
could in his manner, whereby he reconciles Josephus both to 
himself and to St. Luke. 


but a few months before St. Paul came to Jerusa- 
lem, the chief captain Lysias seeing the uproar that 
was made upon his account, it entered his mind that 
the Egyptian was taken, and that St. Paul might 
be the man. This occasioned the question he asked 

§. 7' We read in the Acts of the conversion of 
the eunuch, who was of great authority under Can- 
dace queen of the Ethiopians'^. It is evident, both 
from Strabo^ and Dio'^, that there was a queen of 
that name in Ethiopia, who fought against the Ro- 
mans about the twenty-second or twenty-third year 
of the reign of Augustus Caesar, reckoning it from 
the death of his uncle Julius. It is clear also from 
Pliny*, who flourished in the reign of the emperor 
Vespasian, that there was a queen of Ethiopia 
named Candace in his time ; and he adds, that this 
had been the name of their queens now for many 
years. It is beyond all doubt therefore that there 
was a queen of Ethiopia of this name at the time 
when Philip is said to have converted the eunuch. 
Eusebius tells us that this country continued to be 
governed by women even to his time™. 

§. 8. Two years before Felix left the government 
of Judsea, we are told in the history of the Acts 
that Ananias was high priest '^i and this is con- 
firmed by Josephus, who relates, that Ananias, the 
son of Nebadseus, was made high priest of the Jew- 
ish nation in the room of Joseph the son of Camy- 
dus, by Herod king of Chalcis°. This he places just 

^ Ch. viii. 27. ' L. 17. p. 820. '' L. 54. p. 524. 

' N. H. 1. 6. c. 29. ■" Hist. 1. 2. c. I. Vid. Alex, ab Alex. 

1. I. c. 2. " Ch. xxiii. 2. and xxiv. i. " Aiitiq. 1. 20. 

c. 4. §.2. 


before the death of Herod, which he tells us hap- 
pened in the eighth year of the emperor Claudius. 
He says not one word of any other person's being 
made high priest till Fehx is quitting the govern- 
ment of Judaea. Immediately before the account of 
his departure, he relates, that king Agrippa (who 
had succeeded his uncle Herod, and after that, in 
lieu of Chalcis, had received the tetrarchy of PhiHp) 
gave the high-priesthood to Ishmael the son of 
PhabiP, and at the same time is not obscurely 
hinted the reason why he removed Ananias. For 
there is added the vile insult committed by the 
high priests on the inferior priests and people, the 
high priests Ijy force seizing on the tithes which 
were due to the inferior priests, so that the priests, 
who before this subsisted on their tithes, perished 
for want. We are informed afterwards, not only 
that Ananias was guilty of this wickedness, but it is 
strongly insinuated that the other high priests fol- 
lowed his example herein ; that he was therefore the 
author and ringleader of this violence and compli- 
cated injustice "J. It appears highly probable to me, 
that king Agrippa, not being able by his authority 
to suppress this evil, (for he had no other authority 
over Judaea than that of making and removing their 
high priest,) took the only step he had in his power 
towards the discouraging it, and that was by dis- 
placing Ananias, who first began this villainous prac- 

The fact lies so very clear in Josephus, that it 
has been matter of surprise to me that learned men 
should ever have made the least doubt whether Ana- 

y Antiq. 1. 20. c. 7. §. 8, 9. 1 Ibid. c. 8. §. 2. 4. 



nias were at this time tlie high priest of the Jews. 
Some have hinted as a reason his Ijeing sent prisoner 
to Rome. There happening a quarrel between the 
Samaritans and Jews, in which was rapine and blood- 
shed, the Samaritans so far obtained the ear of Qua- 
dratus, the president of Syria, that he sent Ananias 
and his son Ananus prisoners to Rome, as esteeming 
them the guilty persons, and ordered the chief of 
the Samaritan nation to follow as their accusers'". If 
there be any strength in this objection, it must, I 
suppose, lie in one of these three things ; either that 
Quadratus at this time deprived Ananias of the 
priesthood, or that his being a prisoner disqualified 
him for that high office, or that his being absent at 
Rome was inconsistent lierewith. It is nowhere said 
nor intimated that Quadratus deprived him : and in- 
deed the presidents of Syria had no such power at 
the time we are speaking of, it having been vested 
by Claudius in the family of Herod ^ : and could we 
suppose that Quadratus invaded another's province, 
and deprived him as thinking him guilty ? Can it 
be imagined that Claudius did not fully restore him, 
when he not only pronounced him innocent, but 
thought him so much wronged by the accusation 
brought against him that he put to death his ac- 
cusers? And Jonathan, one of those Jews who were 
sent to Rome with him by Quadratus, was in so 
high estimation at court, that he had interest suffi- 
cient to procure for Felix the government of Judaea 
in the room of Cumanus, wlio favoured the Sama- 
ritans, and was for that reason deprived and ba- 
nished K 

■■ Antiq. 1. 20. c. 5. §. 2, 3. ^ Ibid. c. i. §. 3. 

' Ibid. c. 5. §. 3. etc. 7. §. 5. 


Nor can I understand that his having been made 
a prisoner was a disqualification. I do not perceive 
that the learned Selden found any such thing men- 
tioned either in the Talmudists or other Jewish 
writers " : and we are told by Josephus, that when 
Hyrcanus the high priest was taken captive by the 
Parthians, and by them delivered up to Antigonus 
his competitor, Antigonus bit off part of his ears in 
order to disqualify him for the priesthood for the 
future ^. He knew certainly that his having been 
a captive was no disqualification ; for if it had, it 
would have been entirely needless to have used the 
other cruel method. Now if captivity was no dis- 
qualification, how much less the being made a pri- 
soner upon suspicion of guilt in order to take a 
trial! It is true indeed, we read, that the being 
born of a woman that had been a captive was a dis- 
qualification for the high-priesthood. But the rea- 
son of that is given both by Josephus y and the Tal- 
mudists'^. It was not from the indignity suffered 
by being taken captive, but from the suspicion that 
she might have been defiled by those who took her 

Nor was the going to Rome inconsistent with the 
office of high priest. It is true, when Ishmael the 
high priest, who succeeded Ananias, was sent to 
Rome, a successor was appointed him ; but the rea- 
son is at the same time added, and that was, be- 
cause he was detained by the empress Poppaea as 

" Vid. de Success, in Pontif. 1. 2. c. i — 6. 
^ Antiq. 1. 14. c. 13. §. 10. et 1. 15. c. 2. §. 2. et de Bell. I, i, 
c. 13. §. 9. Vid. et Antiq. 1. 20. c. 9. p. 900. 1. 12. 
y Contra Apion. 1. i, §. 7. p. 1333. 1. 13. 
' Vid. Selden. de Success, in Pontif. 1, 2. c. 2, 3. 
F 2 


an hostage. Josephus says, when king Agrippa 
heard this, he gave the high-priesthood to Joseph, 
surnamed Cabi ' ; but not till he heard that he was 
detained, and could not return to perform his office. 
This was not the case of Ananias. We read not of 
any the least delay in the hearing of his cause, and 
the dismissing him. 

Another occasion of doubt hinted at by learned 
men is, that in the history of Josephus, between the 
time in which the high-priesthood was conferred on 
Ananias, and the time when it was given to Ishmael, 
there is mention made of Jonathan the high priest ''. 
But it is not said nor hinted that he had the high- 
priesthood at this time bestowed on him. The only 
reason of his being named in this place is to shew 
the ingratitude, baseness, and wickedness of Felix 
the Roman governor. For although Jonathan, as we 
have observed before, procured for him the govern- 
ment of Judaea, Felix corrupted one of Jonathan's 
familiar friends, who hired villains that murdered 
him. As it is for this reason only that he is here 
mentioned, so is he called high priest, because he 
formerly had executed that high office in the reign 
of Tiberius, being placed in it by Vitellius, presi- 
dent of Syria "^ : and it must be well known to any 
one who is conversant in Josephus, that it is cus- 
tomary with him to call all those high priests who 
have once enjoyed that dignity, although they had 
been deprived of it many years''. Thus he does Jo- 
nathan, not only in the place before us, but where 

" Antiq. 1. 20. c. 7. §. 1 1. fin. ^ Ibid. c. 7. §. 5. 

^ Ibid. 1. 18. c. 5. §. 3. fin. J Vid. Antiq. 1. 20. c. 8. §. 2. 

de Bell. 1. 2, c. 17. §. 2. 6. 9. 1, 5. c. 5. §. 2. Vita, §. 38. 


he mentions his being sent with Ananias to Rome'', 
at which time that Ananias was truly the high 
priest no one ever moved the least doubt. Jona- 
than was indeed offered the high-priesthood in the 
reign of Claudius by king Agrippa, but he refused 
it, desiring rather that it should be conferred on his 
brother Matthias, which accordingly it was^. This 
renders it the less probable that he should so soon 
after be offered it again, or that, if offered, he should 
accept it. Besides, it is very likely he was killed 
before St. Paul was tried by Ananias^. 

^De Bell. 1. 2. c. 12. §. 6. "" Antiq. 1. 19. c. 6. §. 4. 

g Jonathan's murder was not long after the beginning of Nero's 
reign. Antiq. 1. 20. c. 7. §. 4, 5. St. Paul was not brought be- 
fore Ananias till about the fifth year of that reign, 

Josephus relates, that from the time of Herod to the destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem were twenty-eight high priests. Antiq. 1. 20. 
c. 10. prop. fin. The learned Reland thinks that this number 
cannot be made out from the foregoing account of Josephus with- 
out taking in this Jonathan. But if the twenty-eight must ne- 
cessarily be distinct persons, and not the same person reckoned 
twice, (for Ananclus, we are sure, was twice in that high office,) 
why may there not be two Joazarus's rather than two Jonathans ? 
We read that Joazarus was made high priest in the room of Mat- 
thias by Herod the Great, 1. 17. c. 6. §. 4. and that he was re- 
moved by Archelaus, 1. 17. c. 13. §. i. that he was succeeded by 
Eleazar, and Eleazar by Jesus the son of Sie, ibid. Notwith- 
standing, we read afterwards of a Joazarus who was high priest 
when Quirinus confiscated the estate of Archelaus, and that he 
was helpful to him in appeasing the people, 1. 18. c. i. §. i j and 
it is expressly said that Quirinus took away the dignity of the 
high-priesthood from Joazarus, and made Ananus the son of Seth 
high priest, ibid. c. 2. §, i. If Jonathan be a different person 
from him that was made high priest by Vitellius, it is nowhere 
said that he was made high priest, or that he was deprived of that 
dignity ; nor is there any probability that he ever enjoyed that 
high office. But as for the second Joazarus, it appears evidently 
that he was in that office, and was deprived of it by Vitellius. 
F 3 


It may have occasioned a doubt to some that Jo- 
sephiis, in the third book of his Antiquities, towards 
the end, mentions Ishmael as high priest in the 
reign of the emperor Claudius. But the Ishmael 
there spoken of can noways interfere with Ananias, 
because he specifies the particular time when that 
Ishmael was high priest, by the severity of the fa- 
mine which then prevailed at Jerusalem : and it is 
very evident that the height of the famine was in 
the fifth and sixth years of the emperor Claudius, 
which was two years before Ananias was made higli 
priest. Unless Ishmael be another name for Joseph 
the son of Camydus, either this part of Josephus's 
history must have been corrupted by the transcriber, 
or he must have forgotten himself. For in those 
books, wherein he gives a particulai' account of the 
high priests which were made in the reign of Clau- 
dius, he makes no mention of Ishmael : and Ishmael 
the son of Phabi, who succeeded Ananias, he tells 
us, was made high priest in the reign of Nero'\ 

St. Paul says to Ananias, God shall smite thee, 
thou whited wair\ The character given of this man 
in Josephus very well answers to tin's description of 
him by St. Paul. For at the same time that he car- 
ried it in the most plausible manner towards the 
citizens, so as to be in the highest favour and repu- 
tation with thcm'^, he was guilty of the highest in- 
justice. He, by his servants and other dependants, 
plundered the priests of their tithes to that degree 
that many of them perished for want, as we have 
before observed. What the apostle said to him was 
doubtless spoken under a prophetic impulse. For 

'■ Aiili<i. 1. 20. c. 7. §. 8. ' Acts xxiii. 3, 

^ \nli(j. I. 20. c. 8. §. 2. 4. 


Josephus, in the account he gives us of his death, 
tells us that his house was burnt, and himself be- 
sieged in the royal palace, which being taken, he 
was drawn out from a cistern, wherein he had hid 
himself, and was slain ; and this in a sedition began 
most unreasonably and wickedly by his own son^ 
Thus did God smite him according to the prediction 
of the apostle. 

§. 9. We read. Acts v. 34, that a Pharisee, named 
Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had iti great repu- 
tation among all the people, was one of the Jewish 
council, or sanhedrim. This agrees exactly with 
what is delivered in the Jewish Talmuds. We are 
informed by them that Gamaliel, the son of Simeon, 
and grandson of Hillel, was president of the council ; 
that he was a Pharisee ; that he was so well skilled 
in the law, that he was the second who obtained 
the name of Rabban, a title of the highest eminency 
and note of any among their doctors : and concern- 
ing him is this saying ; " From the time that Rab- 
" ban Gamaliel the Old died, the honour of the law 
" failed, and purity and pharisaism died." He is 
called Rabban Gamaliel the Old, to distinguish him 
from his grandson, who was also called Rabban Ga- 
maliel, and the great-grandson of this grandson, who 
was also called by the same name, and had the same 
title, and were both of them, as the Talmudists say, 
presidents also of the council. They tell us that 
Rabban Gamaliel the Old died eighteen years before 
the destruction of Jerusalem'", that is, in the year 
of our Lord 52, about eighteen years after the con- 
vention of this council, before whom the apostles 

' De Bell. 1. 2. c. 17. §. 2. 6. 9. 

"^ Vid. Lightfoot, vol. i. p. 271. 765. 2009. vol. 2. p. 15. 657. 
F 4 


were brought, as related in the Acts. We read also 
in Josephus of Simeon, the son of this Gamaliel, as 
being one of the principal persons of the Jewish na- 
tion about three years before the destruction of Je- 
rusalem". The Talmudists say he succeeded his fa- 
ther, and was president of the council. 

^.10. John and Alexander are spoken of, Acts iv. 
6, as persons of principal account in the Jewish na- 
tion. John probably is no other than Rabban Jo- 
hanan the son of Zaccai, frequently mentioned in 
the Talmuds. It is said of him that he had been 
the scholar of Hillel, and was president of the coun- 
cil after Simeon the son of Gamaliel, who perished 
in the destruction of the city, and that he lived to 
be a hundred and twenty years of age. A remark- 
able saying of his, spoken by him not long before 
his assembling with the rulers and elders, mentioned 
Acts iv. is related in the Jerusalem Talmud thus : 
" Forty years before the destruction of the city, 
" when the gates of the temple flew open of their 
" own accord, Rabban Johanan the son of Zaccai 
" said, O temple, temple, why dost thou disturb thy- 
" self? I know thy end, that thou shalt be de- 
" stroyed ; for so the prophet Zechariah hath spoken 
" concerning thee. Open thy doors, O Lebanon, 
" that the fire may devour thy cedarsT He lived 
to see the truth of what he had foretold*'. By the 
Alexander mentioned, some learned menP under- 
stand Alexander the alabarch or governor of the 

'• De Bell. 1. 4. c. 3. §. 9. and commends liim as a man of 
great understanding, and capable by his prudence to have re- 
stored the affairs of the nation, Vit. §. 38. p. 923. pr. 

" Vid. Light, vol. i. p. 2009. and p. 277. 282. vol. 2. p. 652. 

r Baron. Annal. 34. p. 224. e. Light, vol. i. p. 277. and 760. 


Jews, who dwelt in Egypt : and were he at Jerusa- 
lem at the time spoken of, as it is very possible he 
might, for any thing we can learn to the contrary, 
nothing would be more probable. For the assembly 
here spoken of does not seem to be the ordinary 
council of the Seventy-one, but an extraordinary 
council, composed of all the chief men of the Jewish 
nation, from every part of the world, who happened 
then to be at Jerusalem ; and several such it is 
likely there might be upon the account of some 
feast. Josephus says of this Alexander, that he was 
the noblest and richest of all the Jews in Alexan- 
dria of his time, and that he adorned the nine gates 
of the temple at Jerusalem with plates of gold and 
silver "1. 

J. 11. Acts xiii. 1. there is mention made of cer- 
tain prophets and teachers, and among them is 
named Manaen, who, it is said, had heen hred up 
with Herod the tetrarch. There is an account in 
Josephus of one Manaen, an Essene, who foretold 
concerning Herod the Great that he should be a 
king, whilst he was yet a boy at school : and when 
it actually came to pass that he was king, being 
sent for by Herod, and asked how long he should 
reign, whether ten years? he answered. Yes. Twenty 
years ? Yes ; thirty years. Upon which Herod gave 
him his right hand, and from that time held in great 
esteem such who were of the sect of the Essenes*". 
Abr. Zachutus, a Jewish writer, says that this Ma- 
naen was vice-president of the sanhedrim under Hil- 
lel, and that Shammai succeeded him ; that he went 
off into Herod's family and service with fourscore 

1 Antiq. 1. i8. c. 7. §. 3. fin. 1. 19. c. 5. §. i. fin. 1, 20. c. 4. 
§. 2. et de Bell. 1, 5. c. 5. §. 3. ■" Ibid. 1. 15. c. 10. §. 5. 


eminent men; that he uttered many prophecies; 
foretold to Herod, when he was yet very young, 
that he should come to reign ; and when he did 
reign, being sent for, foretold that he should reign 
above thirty years^ The Talmudists also say, " that 
" Manaen went out, and Shammai succeeded him. 
" But whither went Manaen ? Abai says he went 
" into the service of the king, and with him went 
" fourscore pair of disciples cloathed all in silk *." 
It is very probable that a son of this Manaen", or 
some nephew, or other kinsman, to whom he gave 
his name, was educated in the family of Herod the 
Great. The young Manaen might be of the same 
age, and have the same preceptors and tutors as had 
Herod Antipas, one of the sons of Herod the Great, 
and for that reason be said to be bred up with him 
in particular. This Herod Antipas was, after his 
father's death, tetrarch of Galilee ; and is the person 
who put John the Baptist to death. Josephus says 
of the first named Manaen, that he was reputed a 
man of an excellent life. The Talmudists tell us, 
that, when he left the vice-presidentship of the san- 
hedrim to go into Herod's service, he went into all 
manner of wickedness. May they not have fixed 
this infamy upon him from his having shewn some 
mark of esteem for Christ and his followers? or 
from the younger Manaen's becoming a Christian ? 

^ Juchasin, p. 19, i. ' Vid. Light, vol. 2. p. 685. vol. 1. 

p. 288. 2008. 

" It is, indeed, made a doubt by Dr. Lightfoot whether the 
Essenes married ; but Josephus says exj)ressly that one sort of 
them did marry, de Bell. 1. 2. c. 8. §. 13. p. 1064. It is not im- 
probable also that Manaen might quit the customs of the Essenes 
when he went to court. 


§. 12. Josephus, as we have had occasion before 
to observe, tells us, that Felix, the governor of Ju- 
daea, made use of one Simon, who pretended to be a 
magician, to solicit Drusilla to forsake her husband, 
and marry him''. Some learned men^ have conjec- 
tured this to be the same Simon who is spoken of in 
the Acts as having bewitched the people of Samaria 
with his sorceries. But this is very uncertain, if not 
wholly improbable^. 

^ Antiq. 1. 20. c. 6. §. 2. > Basnage, Annal. 37. c. 35. and 

Stephen le Moine. 

^ Josephus says this Simon was a Jew of Cyprus. All the fa- 
thers agree that Simon in the Acts was a Samaritan by birth. 
Just. Martyr, p. 69. C. Epiph. Heer. 20. n. i. TertuU. de Anima, 
c. 34. Orig. in Celsum, J. 6. p. 73. Clem. Constit. 337. Recogn. 
495. c. 2. 512. c. 2. 626. 633. 760. Philastrius in Sim. notwith- 
standing, says Citteus, as though he were of Cyprus. 



Shewing how far the various distinctions of the 
Jews, ivhich happen to he spohen of in the Acts, 
are confirmed hy other authors. 

§. 1. I PROCEED now to the second thing pro- 
posed, which is, to shew you how far the various dis- 
tinctions among the Jews, mentioned in the history of 
the Acts, are confirmed by other authors. The first 
is, that of Jews and proselytes. This is a distinc- 
tion so well known, that it is almost needless to tell 
you, that by proselytes are understood those of other 
nations who embrace the Jewish religion either in 
whole or in part. Those who embraced it wholly 
were in most things esteemed Jews, as much as if 
they had descended from the sons of Jacob. In 
some few things they, their offspring, and all their 
descendants, unless they sprang from marriages with 
women who were of the race of Israel, had different 
laws and customs ; whereby there was always a dis- 
tinction kept up between the posterity of proselytes 
and the native Jews'*. The children of proselytes, 
their grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and so 
down to all generations, were under the same laws 
as were the first converted, and therefore were 
deemed proselytes. If, indeed, any of them married 
with women of the Jewish race, the children sprung 
from that marriage were Jews in the strictest sense 
of the Avord, as being descendants from Jacob. 

Those who embraced the Jewish religion in part 

" Maim. Issure. Biah, c. 14. Vid. Seld. de .Tur. Nat. 1. 2. c. 4. 
p. 194-5-6. 1. 5. c. 20. p. 590-1-2. 


only, were such who, from among other nations, for- 
sook the idolatry they had been educated in, and 
worshipped the one only living and true God, the 
God of the Jews, and observed what are called the 
seven precepts of Noah. When the Jews were under 
their own government, they permitted no foreigners 
to live in the holy land, though it were for never so 
short a time, if they did not thus far conform to the 
Jewish religion"^. Of the first sort of proselytes was 
Nicolas the deacon, said, in the history of the Acts, 
to be a proselyte of Antioch*^. Of the second sort 
was Cornelius the centurion'^ ; and of this latter sort 
is frequent mention made, by the names of reli- 
gious^ or devout persons ^ of persons that fear Gods, 
or who worship God^. That there were many who 
had embraced the Jewish religion about that period 
of time which is the subject of the history of the 
Acts, is fully evident from almost all the authors 
who have wrote of that time, and are now extant ; 
such as Tacitus S Suetonius'^, Dio^, Josephus™, and 
several of the Roman poets, as Horace, Juvenal, 

We read in several parts of the Acts of women 
proselytes °, more especially of the chief and honour- 
able women^. That the Jews were not a little dili- 

t" Maim, de Reg. et rebus eorum bellicis, c. 8. §. 9, 10. Vid. 
Seld. de Jur. Nat. 1. 2. c. 3. p. 185, 186. <= Chap. vi. 6. 

'^ Ch. X. '^ Acts xiii. 43. ^ Acts xiii. 50. and xvii. 4. 17. 

s Ch. X. 2. and xiii. 16. 26. '' Ch. xvi. 14. and xviii. 7. 

called by the Talmudists, hasidei omoth haolam. Maim, de Reg. 
c. 8. §. II. Light. V. 2. p. 689. ' Hist. 1. 5. n. 5. 

^ In Tib. 36. 2. ' L. 36. p. 37. B. "^ De Bell. 1. 7. 

c. 3. §. 3. at Antioch in particular j contra Apion. 1. 2. §. 10. 
p. 1372. 1. 28. " Ch. xvi. 13, 14. ° Ch. xiii. 50. and xvii. 

4. 12. 


gent in gaining over the fair sex to their religion, 
and particularly such who were of figure and emi- 
nence, we learn from the account Josephus has given 
us of the conversions of Helena p and Fulvia% the 
former a queen, the latter a Roman matron, wife 
of Saturninus, a favourite of the emperor Tiberius. 
And that very many women were prevailed with to 
become proselytes, appears from what he tells us of 
the citizens of Damascus, who, having formed a de- 
sign to kill all the Jews in that city, were obliged, 
with great solicitude, to conceal it from their wives, 
because they were well nigh all addicted to the 
Jewish religion''. 

It is said, Acts ii. 10, that there were at that 
time in Jerusalem strangers from Rome, both Jews 
and proselytes ; that is, Jews and proselytes who 
were by birth or habitation Romans, but now so- 
journed at Jerusalem. That there were great mul- 
titudes of Jews who dwelt at Rome, is evident, not 
only from Josephus^ but from DioS Suetonius", Ta- 
citus '', and I think I may say all the Roman au- 
thors of that time, not excepting even the poets >' ; 
and that there were not a few in that great city 
proselyted to the Jewish religion, sufficiently ap- 
pears from the satires of Horace'', Juvenal% and 

^. 2. Another distinction we meet with in the 
history of the Acts is that of Hellenists and He- 

1' Antiq. 1. 20. c 2. §. 4. and the women of king Abennerigus 
as well as Helena. i Antiq. I. 18. c. 4. §. 5. ' De Bell. 

1. 2. c. 20. §. 2. * Antiq. 1. 18. c. 4. §. 5. ' L. 36. p. 37. B. 
" In Tib. 36. 2. ^ Annal. 1. 2. 85. proj). fin. > Vid. Jiiv. 

Sat. 3. 13, &c. 6. 541, &c. ' L. 1. Sat. 4. ver. ult. 

= Sat. 14. V. 96, &c. '' Sat. 5. 179, &c. 


brews'^. Our translators have rendered the word 
Grecians ; but that rendering is far from conveying 
the true idea of it to the readers. By the Hellenists 
are to be understood the dispersion among the 
Greeks, as they are called, John vii. 35. or all those 
Jews dispersed in the west, who, not understanding 
the language spoken in Judaea, were obliged to re- 
cite their sentences and prayers, and to have the 
Bible interpreted to them in the Greek language. 
The language which was at this time usually spoken 
in the land of Judaea, though not the ancient He- 
brew, but, in truth, a dialect of the Chaldee, yet 
went under the name of the Hebrew language. 
Such, therefore, who understood this, and to whom 
the Law and the Prophets, when read in their syn- 
agogues, were interpreted in this Chaldaic dialect, 
went under the name of Hebrews, in contradistinc- 
tion to those who were named Hellenists. It is true, 
we meet not with this distinction in express words, 
either in Josephus or any other Jewish writer. But 
we find in them those things which were the foun- 
dation of it, and which evidently lead to the sense I 
have now given hereof '^ 

'^ Ch. vi. a. and ix. 29. and xi. 20. But the best copies in this 
last place read "EXX^jve;. V. Grot, in loc. 

'^ There are several learned men who xniderstand by Hellenists, 
proselytes, such as Beza, Selden, Basnage ; but I cannot see the 
least shadow of a reason to support their opinion. The word 
Hellenists comes from 'EKKYjvt'^u, Grceco more me gero, or Greece 
loquor ; 'EX'AyjVKrrrji; qui Gracisat, vel Greece loquitur; and thus is 
it translated in the Syriac version. Acts ix. 29. The Jews speak- 
ing the Greek tongue. Had St. Luke meant proselytes, its much 
he should not use the name proselytes here as well as elsewhere ; 
or he might have called them "EXXvjve? 'loySa/^ovre,;, or 'Ej3pai<rTai, 
that is, Greeks who imitated the Hebrew manners; but there 


That the Law and the Prophets, though read in 
their synagogues in the ancient Hebrew, were, by 
an interpreter, rendered into the language then com- 
monly spoken in Judaea, is fully evident from the 
Talmudists^. They tell us, that in the Prophets 
three verses were read by the reader, and then those 
three translated by the interpreter, and then three 
more read and translated, and so on ; but that in 
the Law no more than a single verse was read, and 
then interpreted, for fear of a mistake ^ The reason 
they gave why the Law^ and the Prophets were thus 
interpreted, was, because the ancient Hebrew^ being 
no longer the language in common use, this method 
was necessary to their understanding them^. Is not 
this reason of full as much force when applied to 
the Jews who understood no other language than 
the Greek, that they ought to have both interpreted 
to them in that language ? There is no doubt, there- 
fore, but that the Law and the Prophets were inter- 
preted to them in Greek; nor am I sensible that 
this is a fact disputed by any ^. 

can be no reason in nature assigned why they should be called 

= Vid. Vitrin. de Synag. vet. 1. 3. p. 2. c. 12. p. 1015, &c. 
Buxtorf. Lex. Chald. in voc. Targem, p. 2642, fin. et in voc. 
Turgeman, 2643. ^"^ 

f Vitr. ibid. p. 10 19. s Vitr. ibid. p. 1020. fin. et 1021. 

'' Learned men differ much in their opinion whether the Tar- 
gum and LXX translation were read in the Jewish synagogues 
during that period of time we are treating of. Buxtorf. Lex. 
Chald. voce Elinistin. Grotius in Act, vi. i. and Prideaux, Conn, 
vol. 2. p. 414. 425. (who quotes Elias Levita, as saying, in his 
Methurgeman, pref. p. 246. that the Targum was read, in his 
time, in the synagogues in Germany) think they were ; Vitringa 
and Lightfoot, that they were not. And it is very certain, if 
the Talmudists are to be credited, that thev were not read. The 


Rabbi Levi ben Chaiatha, going down to Caesarea, 
heard them reciting the Shema, that is, certain por- 
tions of the Law so called^, |"'nD''T':'^?, a word very 
near to that we are treating of, heard them reciting 
their sentences in Greek, and would have forbidden 
them ; which when Rabbi Jose heard, he was very 
angry, and said, " If a man does not know how to 
" recite in the holy tongue, must he not recite them 
" at all ? Let him perform his duty in what lan- 
" guage he can." This is related in the Jerusalem 
Talmud, Sotah, fol. xxi. 2."" This sufficiently shews 
that the Hellenists, or persons who recited their sen- 
tences in the Greek language, were esteemed an in- 
ferior class of Jews. It is remarkable also, from se- 
veral parts of the Talmud, that as they set a high 
value on the Babylonian Jews, so they placed the 
Jews who were dispersed among the Greeks in the 
lowest form. It is a saying of theirs, "All lands 
" are a mixed lump, compared with the land of 
" Israel; and the land of Israel is a mixed lump, 
" compared with Babylon ^" And another : " The 
" Jewish oflfspring in Babylon is more valuable than 
** that among the Greeks, even purer than that in 
" Judaea itself «." 

Josephus tells us that the knowledge of foreign 
languages, and of Greek in particular, was held in 

arguments I have made use of noways interest me in this dispute. 
For both sides agree that the Law and the Prophets were inter- 
preted in the synagogue into a known tongue ; whether it was 
done by reading a written interpretation, or without reading, is 
of no importance to my argument. 

' Vid. Vit. Syn. vet. 1. 3. p. 2. c. 15. p. 105 i, &c. 

"1 Vid. Lightfoot, vol. 2. p. 661. Grot, in Act. vi. i. Buxtorf. 
L. Talmud, in voce Elinistin. 

" Vid. Light, vol. 2. p. 799, " Ibid. p. 558. 



no esteem with his countrymen, was looked upon as 
a common attainment, and such as their slaves might 
be masters of ; but that skill in their law, and an abi- 
lity to interpret the sacred books, was greatly ad- 
mired?. In the Talmud is this execration said to be 
made at the time when Aristobulus besieged his bro- 
ther Hyrcanus : " Cursed be the man that cherisheth 
" swine ; and cursed be the man that teacheth his son 
" the wisdom of the Greeks^." And in the war with 
Titus they decreed that no man should teach his son 
Greek >■. This decree, as appears by the gloss upon 
the former passage, was made first in the days of 
the Asmonaeans ; but, having been neglected, was re- 
vived in the war with Titus. And Rabban Simeon, 
the son of Gamaliel, is made to say, " There were a 
" thousand in my father's school, of whom five hun- 
" dred learnt the law, and five hundred the wisdom 
" of the Greeks ; and there is not one of the last 
" now alive, excepting myself and my uncle's son." 
This is related as the effect of the foregoing curse, 
to shew that the judgments of God followed those 
who, in opposition to the decree of the sanhedrim, 
studied the Greek learning. And the reason is im- 
mediately added why he and his cousin-german 
escaped the dreadful effects of this curse : " They 
" allowed the family of Rabban Gamaliel the Greek 
" learning, because they were allied to the royal 
" bloods" They permitted, it seems, those who 

P Antiq. 1. 20. c. ult. §. ult. to which Origen also may be 
added, contra Cels. 1. 2. p. 80, fin. '» Bava kama, fol. 82. 2. 

Vid. not. I'Empereur ad Bava kama, c. 7. §. 7. n. 5. Light, 
vol. 2. p. 660. Seld. de Syned. 1. 2. c. 9. §. 2. p. 141 7. fin. 1418. 

■■ Mishna Sola, c. 9. §. 14. Vid. not. VV'agen. 

* Gemara. Bav. kam. f, 82. 2. and Sotah, fol. 40. 1. Vid. 


were of the lineage of David to be brought up in 
all kind of learning. Now if the Greek language 
and learning were in so low an estimation among 
those Jews who understood Hebrew, how mean, in 
their opinion, must be the Jews who understood no 
other language than the Greek ! This contempt it 
is which is mentioned in the history of the Acts * : 
There arose a murmuring of the Hellenists 
against the Hebrews. Why ? Because the widows 
of the Hellenists were overlooked and despised by 
the Hebrews, as not worthy of relief. And the re- 
mains of this difference between the Jews who un- 
derstood Hebrew, and those who understood it not, 
seems to have extended as low down as the time of 
the emperor Justinian ; at least there is a law of 
his extant, which fully proves that they quarrelled 
in his time whether they should read the scriptures 
in their synagogues in the Hebrew language alone, 
or whether they should read them also in a Greek 

J. 3. Another distinction among the Jews, men- 
tioned in the history of the Acts, is that noted one 

Light, vol. 2, p. 66o. The Talmudists, in enumerating the qua- 
lifications of the members of the greater and lesser sanhedrims, 
tell us, that they ought to understand all manner of arts, sciences, 
and languages ; that they ought to be tall, wise, handsome, aged, 
skilful in magic, and to understand seventy languages. (Was it 
possible to find a sufficient number of persons with these qualifi- 
cations?) If we are bound to reconcile the Talmudists, we must 
take it for granted that not only the royal lineage, but that all 
those who studied the law, in order to qualify theinselves for 
members of their sanhedrims, were exempted from the curse and 
law before mentioned. Vid. Seld. de Syn. 1. 2. c. 9. §. i. p. 1413. 
' Ch. vi. I. " Novel. 146. Vid. Light, vol. i. p. 777, vol. 2. 
p. 659, &c. 798, &c. 

G 2 


of Pharisees and Sadducees. These were distin- 
guished the one from the other, not, as in the 
former cases, by their birth or by their language, 
but by the opinions they held ; were the two chief 
sects of the Jewish religion^, and directly opposite 
to eacli othery. It is not my business to give a de- 
scription of all the tenets of these two sects, but 
only to observe how far what is said or intimated 
concerning either of them in the book of Acts is 
confirmed by other writers. There is frequent men- 
tion made of these sects in the Talmudists and 
other Jewish writers^, and particularly in JosejDhus. 
St. Paul says of himself. After the most straitest 
sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee *. And 
speaking in another place of his having been bred at 
the feet of Gamaliel, a Pharisee, says, that he was 
taught according to the perfect manner of the law 
of the fathers ^. Josephus conveys to us exactly 
the same notion of the sect of the Pharisees in his 
writings, telling us, that they were thought to ex- 
pound the Law in a more perfect manner than 
others, and to excel others in the accurate know- 
ledge they had of the law of their country. He 
says also, that the Pliarisees deliver many laws to 
the people, which they have received by a succes- 
sive tradition from the fathers, which are not writ- 
ten in the laws of Moses. And the observation of 

'^ Jos. Antiq. 1. 13. c. 5. §, 9, De Bell, 1. 2. c. 8. §. ult. pr. 
Vid. et Vit. §. 2. y Antiq. 1. 13. c. 10. §. 6. pr. 

" Vid. Light, vol. I. p. 373. and 457, &c. and 655, &c. vol. 2. 
p. 571, &c. 701, &c. 

* Kara, ti)v a.Kfi^ta-ta.TfjV aipefftv -rrj^ •^/xerepa? 6pvj(7Ktia(; i'^fjaa. <l'api- 
craToi. Act. xxvi. 5. 

YleTcuilevfj-tvoi kuto. ahftfteiav tov itcnptfov vifxov. Act. Xxii. 3. 


these having been forbid and punished by Hyrca- 
niis, Alexandra, his daughter-in-law, restored the 
laws which the Pharisees had introduced according 
to the tradition of their fathers. Here are not only 
the same ideas, but a great similitude of expression, 
as any one may see who will be at the pains to 
compare the passages together in the original lan- 
guage ^. 

We read, Acts xxiii. 8, that the Pharisees be- 
lieved a resurrection, and the existence of angels 
and spirits. In agreement herewith, Josephus tells 
us, the Pharisees believe " that souls have an im- 
" mortal force, and that persons will be rewarded 
" or punished under the earth, according as they 
" have made it their business in this life to follow 
" either virtue or vice ; that the souls of the one 
" will be confined in an eternal prison, the souls of 
" the other have liberty to live again ^ ;" that is, in 
another body here upon earth. For so I think he 
explains himself in his book of the Jewish wars, 
where he says, the Pharisees hold that every soul is 
immortal, that the soul of the good only passes into 
another body, but that the soul of the wicked is pu^ 
nished with everlasting punishment^, 

*^ Ot ^(JKOvvTic [/.tra aKpi^iiai; i^-^yuuBcct ra po[/.t[Aa.. De Bell. 1. 2. C. 8. 
§. 14' pr. Moptov Tj ^lovoaiKuif ay6pui:ci)v iii aKpi^uaet [/.eya. (ppovovv tov 
isarpiov vof^ov. Antiq. 1. 17. C. 2. prop. fin. "EvvTayi^a, n 'loiSaiW, hoKovv 
fvire^iaTepov elvai tZv aXXuv, kou tohq vofAdvc; a.Kpi^ea'Tepov a(pviyf7'76cci. De 
Bell. 1. I. C. 5- §• 2. Ot Tcep) ra itdrpia, vo[Ji.i[/.oi doKovcri tZv aXXuv a,Kpi~ 
jSe/oc ^laujiepetv. Vit. §. 38. p. 923- pr. N(3/xj//.a iroXXa nvoc. Tcapiho(7a.v tS 

Sij/AO) OJ ^apia-a7oi e/c 'ncnepav 8<aSo%^? ra. 8' e/c trapa^ia-eu^ ruv itare- 

puv. Antiq. 1. 13. c. 10. §. 6. prop. fin. Ka< ('in 8e koI rSv yofjLi[> 
'TpKavo^ TCfi/Sepoi; a^TTj? KureMcnv, uv tla'f]vtyKav o« ^apivaHoi Kara t^» 
icarpuav Tcapabotriv, rovro itdXiv aitoKariirrviae. Antiq. 1. 1 3. C. 1 6. §. 2, 

'' Antiq. 1. 1 8. c. i. §.3. *-' L. 2, c. 8. §. 14. 

G 3 


There was a variety of opinions concerning the 
resurrection among the Pharisees, or traditionary- 
Jews. Josephus, as I apprehend, has here given us 
that which comes nearest his own, or which he was 
most inclined to have the Greek philosophers under- 
stand to be his own. For he is accused by learned 
men, and certainly not without reason, of sometimes 
accommodating the Jewish revelation to the senti- 
ments of the heathen, or bringing it as near to what 
was taught by them as might be. The Pharisees, 
according to him, believed the separate existence of 
human spirits, rewards and punishments in a future 
state, and that the good should return to life here 
on earth, or obtain a resurrection, but not in the 
same body. This falls in with what he delivers as 
his own sentiments, saying, in his book against 
Apion, " That to those who observe the law of Mo- 
" ses, or die for it, if need be, God hath granted, 
" that after a revolution of years they shall be born 
" again, and receive a better life^" And much to 
the same purpose in his Book of Wars ; " That pure 
" and obedient souls continue possessing a most holy 
" place in heaven, whence, after a revolution of ages, 
" they shall again be placed in pure bodies, as in 
" houses s." 

The Talmudists also frequently speak of the 
transmigration of the souls of good men. Accord- 
ing to some of them the soul of Abel went into 

f L. 2. §. 30. prop. fin. p. 1383. 

B L. 3. c. 7. p. 1 144, 1145. Vid. et 1. i. c. ult. §. 2. ad fin. 
The curious may also see how separate souls are, in his opinion, 
employed, by what he says of the ghosts of Alexander and Ariato- 
bulus, de Bell. 1. i.e. 30. §. 7. prop. fin. and c. 31. §. 2. pr. fin. 


Seth, and the soul of Seth into Moses ^, Others of 
them say, that the soul of Phinehas and Elias was 
the same '\ Others, that the soul of Adam went into 
David ^, and that of Jeremiah was in Zechariah l It 
was manifestly owing to this opinion that some per- 
sons in our Saviour's time said of him, that he was 
Jeremiah, or one of the ancient prophets'^. Others 
among the Jews held the transmigration of the souls 
of the wicked, and that by way of punishment. It 
is said in the Talmud, that the souls of men pass 
from body to body upon these terms, that if a soul 
sin in the first body, it be sent into a second, in 
which, if it again sins, it be sent into a third body, 
in which, if it leaves not off sinning, it be at length 
thrown into hell". To some such opinion there 
seems to be an evident allusion when the disciples 
say to our Lord concerning the blind man. Who 
sinned, this man, or his parents, that he was horfi 

St. Paul says. Acts xxiv. 15, / have good hope 
towards God, which they themselves also allow, 
that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both 
of the just and of the unjust. And without doubt 
the prevailing opinion among the Jews was that 
there should be a general resurrection p. Some few 

^ Baba mezia. Vid. Sixt. Sin. Bib. Sac. 1. 2. tit. T. fin, 

' Vid. Grot, in Matt. xxiv. 2. ^ Ibid. ' Grot, in Matt, 

xvi. 14. ""' Matt. xvi. 14. Luke ix. 8. " Baba mezia, 

et multis aliis locis. Vid. Sixt. Sen. Bib. San. 1. 2. tit. T. fin. 

" John ix. 2. That the Jews held the Pythagorean transmigra- 
tion of souls, vid. Seld. de Jur. Nat. 1. 7. c. 9. fin. p. 745. and 
1. 2. c. 4. p. 193, 194. and Prid. Conn. vol. 2. p. 265, 266. 

P Vid. Light, vol. 2. p. 541, 542. 701. 787. vol. 1. p. 676, and 
759. Mede's Works, p. 797. 80 t. 880. Buxt. dial. Lex. in voc. 
Techija, p. 745. in voc. Tekuma, p. 2001. 
G 4 


possibly might think that all will not receive their 
own bodies. To this purpose is that saying in the 
Talmud, The souls of unlearned men shall not re- 
ceive their own bodies at the resurrection^. But 
far the greater number held a resurrection of the 
bodies both of the just and of the unjust, in order 
to judgment. Rabbi Eliezer Kapernaita says, those 
that are born shall die, those that are dead shall be 
raised, and those that are raised to life again shall 
be judged"". ],"^And that famous argument made use 
of by Gabika Ben Cosem, to prove the resurrection 
of the dead, fully shews that they expected the same 
body ; " That which was not, came into being ; and 
" shall not that much more which has been al- 
" ready ' ?" The Talmudists also make use of that 
text, Dan. xii. 2, 3. to prove the resurrection * : And 
many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth 
shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to 
shame and everlasting contempt. What can be 
said to sleep in the dust of the earth but the body ? 
This text therefore is alleged by them to prove that 
there shall be a resurrection of the bodies both of 
the just and the unjust. 

And that the resurrection of the same body was 
a doctrine wherewith the ancient Jews, long before 
our Saviour's time, comforted, supported, and en- 
couraged themselves under the hardships of perse- 
cution, is fully evident from 2 Maccab. vii. 9- H. 
14. 23. 29. 36. and xiii. 43, 44. In the account 

'I Chetuboth. fol. 3. Vid. Sixt. Sen. Bib. San. 1. 2. tit. T. fin. 

■■ Pirke aboth, cap. 4. Vid. Seld. de Jur. Nat. 1. 7. c. 9. fin. 
p. 745. ** Juchasin, f. 13. Vid. Light, vol. i. p. 655. 

' Sanhed. Vid. Poli Synop. in loc. el Hontingii Not. in Suren- 
hiisii Mishna Rosh hashana, p. 314. 


there given of the sufferings of the seven sons, the 
second says. The King of the world shall raise us 
up, who have died for his laws, unto everlasting 
life. The third son, holding forth his hands, says, 
These members I had from Heaven, and for his 
laws I despise them, arid from him I hope to re- 
ceive them again. The fourth son, It is good, being 
put to death by men, to look for hope from God, to 
be raised up again by him. As for thee, speaking 
to Antiochus, thou shalt have no resurrection to 
life, that is, to an everlasting, happy life. The mo- 
ther says to the seventh son. Take thy death, that 
I may receive thee again in mercy with thy bre- 

This doctrine of the same body's being raised is 
evidently implied in the question which is asked by 
the Sadducees concerning the resurrection, Whose 
wife shall she be of the seven? for the seven had 
her to wfe^. There cannot be the least doubt made 
but that the case they put was formed upon the 
common hypothesis or doctrine of the Pharisees. If 
that doctrine had been the transmigration of souls 
only, the case put, and the question raised upon it, 
would have been so far from puzzling the Pharisees, 
that it would not have carried the least appearance 
of difficulty with it. The case plainly supposes that 
the seven husbands and the wife were all to arise 
from the dead together, and to arise in the same 
bodies, so as to be known one to the other : and the 
difficulty lay in determining to which of these hus- 
bands she should belong in the life of pleasure they 
were to lead together after the resurrection. For 

" Matt. xxii. 28. 


it is very evident from the Talmudists, who are the 
true successors of the Pharisees, that they expected 
to enjoy the same sensual delights after the resur- 
rection, as men do now upon this earth, though in a 
larger degree'^. Having such notions, the question 
asked contained an insuperable difficulty, noways to 
be resolved by them ; which probably was the true 
reason why some among them explained away the 
doctrine of the resurrection, and placed the Pytha- 
gorean transmigration of souls in its room. 

The Sadducees on the other hand admitted not 
of a resurrection or reviviscence of the dead taken 
in any sense, nor allowed so much as the existence 
of angels or unembodied spirits. Josephus expressly 
says, " The Sadducees reject the permanence or ex- 
" istence of the soul after death, and the rewards 
" and punishments of an invisible world >":" and in 
another place, " The Sadducees hold that souls pe- 
" rish with the bodies ^ :" and it is evident from the 
opposition he all along puts between the opinions of 
the Pharisees and those of the Sadducees, that they 
meant, the soul so perished, as not to be capable of 
any resurrection or reviviscence ; not that it fell into 
a state of inactivity, out of which it might be awak- 
ed, but that it totally and irrecoverably perished. 
The Talmudists and other Jewish writers, in exact 
agreement herewith, tell us, that the Sadducees de- 
nied rewards and punishments after death, denied 
the age or world to come, and tlie resurrection of 
the dead*. The Sadducees, writes one of them, 
cavil and say, the cloud faileth, and passeth away ; 

" Light, vol. 2. p. 552. Grot, in Matt. xxii. 28. 

y De Bell. 1. 2. c. 8. §. 14. ' Antiq. 1. 18. c. i. §. 4. 

"' Vid. Light, vol, 2. p. 125. 126. 699. 700. 


so he that goeth down to the grave doth not re- 
turn ^. 

It has been admired by some learned men that 
they should deny the existence of angels, Avhen on 
all hands it is agreed that they acknowledged the 
five books of Moses, wherein is such frequent and 
express mention made of the appearance and mi- 
nistry of angels. To this it is answered, that they 
believed not the angels spoken of in the books of 
Moses to be of any duration, but looked on them as 
beings created only for the service they performed, 
and existing no longer'^. There seem to have been 
heretics in Justin Martyr's time of an opinion near 
akin to this ^ : and it is plain, that some among the 
Jews retained this notion as low down as the em- 
peror Justinian's time. For there is a law of his 
extant, published against those Jews who should 
presume, cmt resurrectioiiem et judicium negare, 
aiit facturam Dei et creaturam angelos subsistere, 
" either to deny the resurrection and judgment, or 
" that angels, the workmanship and creatures of 
« God, did subsist ^." 

Since these two sects differed so widely in mat- 
ters of such great concernment as the separate ex- 
istence of the soul, rewards and punishments in a 
future state, and a resurrection or return to life, it 
is but reasonable to suppose that there should be 
frequent jars and contentions between them. Ac- 
cordingly, when Josephus tells us that the Saddu- 
cees rejected what the Pharisees introduced from 

^ Vid. Light, vol. 2. p. 230. Tanchuin. f. 3. 1, 

^ Grot, in Matt. xxii. xxiii. &c. Light, vol. 2. p. 702. Whitby 
on Acts xxiii. 8. and Matt. xxii. 23. Basnage in Eccles. Pol. Ann. 
78. 5. '^ Dial, cum Tryp. p. 358. b. * Nov. 146. cap. 2. 


tradition, he adds, " Concerning these things have 
" happened great disputes and differences between 
" them^" St. Paul, who well knew tliis, seeing that 
one ixirt of the council were Pharisees and the 
other Sadducees, improved the opportunity to set 
them at variance, that he might the more easily 
escape their censure ^. 

Although it was so well known by the apostle 
that the whole sect of the Sadducees denied the re- 
surrection of the dead, yet he scruples not to say. 
To which promise, that is, the promise made of 
God to our fathers of a resurrection to eternal life, 
our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and 
night, hope to conie^^. For the Sadducees were so 
few in number, that they were not worthy his no- 
tice by way of exception. Josephus expressly tells 
us, " That they were a few men only of the chief of 
" their nation ' ; that they prevailed only with the 
" rich to embrace their sentiments ; that the com- 
" mon people were all on the side of the Pharisees''." 
That the ancient Jews believed the resurrection to 
life to be part of the covenant God had made with 
their fathers, is evident from the place we have be- 
fore referred to in the second book of Maccabees. 
The Jewish martyrs not only die in the hope of a 
resurrection to everlasting life, but they plainly found 
this hope upon God's covenant. For the youngest 
of the seven sons says, Our hrethren, who now have 
suffered a short pain, are dead under God's cove- 
nant of everlasting life^. 

Josephus says of the Pharisees, that they were 

' Antiq. 1. 13. c. 10. §. 6. P Acts xxiii. 6. 

'' Acts xxvi. 7. ' Anti<]. 1. 18. c. i. §. 4. 

^ Ibid. 1. 13. c. 10. §.6. et c. 15. §. nil. ' 2 Maccab.vii. 36. 


more pious than the other Jews; by which he 
means, that they were more tenacious of the Jewish 
laws and customs : and they are represented in the 
history of the Acts as continuing to be such even 
after they had received and professed the gospel : 
There arose up certain of the sect of the Phari- 
sees which believed, saying. That it was needful to 
circumcise the believing Gentiles, and to command 
them to keep the law of 3foses™. 

It is remarkable, that as we find the Pharisees to 
be the most forward and zealous against our Lord, 
during his ministry, in the four Gospels, so the Sad- 
ducees, we find, are the most active against his dis- 
ciples in the history of the Acts. The reason is 
plain ; it was the Pharisees chiefly whom our Lord 
reproved. He condemned their impious traditions, 
detected their hypocrisy, and laid open their vile 
and wicked practices : this made them so warm 
against him. On the other hand, the disciples 
preached through Jesus the resurrection of the 
dead. This enraged the Sadducees ; and for this 
they would have contrived means to put them to 
death, had it not been for the milder counsel of Ga- 
maliel the Pharisee'^. They would have done the 
same afterwards by St. Paul, had he not been fa- 
voured by the Pharisees". Josephus represents the 
Sadducees as of a rude, savage, inconversable tem- 
per ; and says, they are, above all the Jews, cruel in 
the sentences they pass. On the other hand, he 
says, the Pharisees are by nature mild in their pu- 
nishments I*. 

"^ Acts XV. 5. " Acts iv. I, 2. and v. 17. 33. 

° Ads xxiii. 9. p De Bell. 1. 2. c, 8. §. 14. Antiq. 1. 20. 

c. 8. §. I. 1. 13. c. 10. §. 6. p. 587. 


§. 4. When it is said, Acts vi. 9, There arose cer- 
tain of the synagogue, which is called the syna- 
gogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alex- 
andrians, and them of Cilicia and Asia, disputing 
with Stephen ; this, as I apprehend it, is distinguish- 
ing the Jews according to the places they usually 
inhabited. The Talmudists tell us there were four 
hundred and sixty ; some of them say, four hundred 
and eighty synagogues in Jerusalem q. It is very 
probable that many of these were built by the Jews 
of particular countries for their own use. There is 
mention made in the Talmud of the synagogue of 
Alexandria, and it is there said that the Alexan- 
drians built it at their own expensed In like man- 
ner, it is probable, there was a synagogue for the 
use of the Jews that ordinarily inhabited Cyrene, 
one also for those that dwelt in Cilicia, and another 
for those whose abode was in Asia Minor : that the 
Jews were numerous in those countries is abundant- 
ly evident from Philo% Dio^ Josephus". The Liber- 
tines, I take it, were no other than the Roman Jews, 
or Jews who ordinarily had their residence at Rome, 
and were free of that city : that very great numbers 
of the Jews, who had been taken captives by the 
Romans, and were carried into Italy, had obtained 
their liberty, is clear from Philo'^ and Tacitus y. 

*) Vid. Light, vol. I. p. 363. fin. vol. 2. 664. Grot, in Act. vi. 9. 

"■ Vid. Light, vol. 2. p. 665. " Leg. ad Caium, p. 1031. e. 

et in Flaccura, p. 971, c. ^ L. 68. p. 786. " Antiq. 1. 16. 
c. 6. §. I. 5. 1. 12. c. 3. §. 1, 2. 1. 14. c. 10. §. 12, &c. 1. 16. 
c. 2. §. 3. Tully pro Flacco, n. 28. vol. i, p. 493. '^ Legat. 

ad Caiimi, p. 1014, D. y Annal. 1. 2. 85. fin. "Qiiatuor millia 
'• libertini generis ea superstitione infecta, quibus idonea aetas, in 
" Sardinian! veherentur." Let this be compared with what Sue- 
tonius says in Tib. 36. 2. and Joseph, Antiq. 1. t8. c. 4. §. ult. fin. 



Shewing hoiv far the Jewish customs referred to 
are confirmed hy other authors. 

I PROCEED now to the third thing, which is 
to shew how far the customs and manners referred 
to in the book of Acts are confirmed by other 
writers, and this, whether they be Jewish, Grecian, 
or Roman. I shall begin with the Jewish, and con- 
sider the other two in their order. 

J. 1. Although it is certain that, by the divine 
appointment, and the custom of the Jewish nation, 
there was properly but one high priest at a time in 
that nation, yet is there frequent mention made in 
the Acts of the holy Apostles of high priests, as 
being many, at one and the same time ^. We meet 
with the same way of speaking very often in the 
History of Josephus. He tells us how very much 
the high priests oppressed the priests in taking away 
their tithes ^. He names one, whom he calls the 
oldest of the high priests ^ ; another, whom he terms 
the youngest of the high priests ^ ; and blames He- 
rod, for that he had given the high priesthood to 
certain obscure persons, who were of the priests 
only, meaning that he ought to have taken them 
from among the high priests ^. 

^ Acts iv. 23. V. 24. ix. 14. 21. xxii. 30. xxiii. 14. xxv. 15. and 
xxvi. 10. 13. ^ Antiq. 1. 20. c. 7. §. 8. and c. 8. §. 2. 

*> De Bell. 1. 4. c. 3. §. 7. and c. 4. §. 3. 

<= Vit. §. 39. p. 923. 1. 35. 

^ Antiq. 1. 20. c. 9. p. 901. 1. 25. Vid. de Bell. 1. i. c. i. §. 
I. 2. c. 14. §. 8. et c. 15. §. 2.3. 4. 6. et c. 16. §. 2. 3. et c. 17. 
§. 2. 3. 5. 6. et c. 20. §. 4. et 1. 4. c. 3. §. 9. et c. 4. §. 3, 4. et 


From the time that Herod the Great obtained 
the kingdom, the high priests were not permitted to 
enjoy their office for life, according to the Mosaic 
institution, but were turned out, and others put in 
their room ; generally after a few years, sometimes 
after having held the dignity a few months only, 
according to the interest or caprice of those who 
governed. All who had been once high priests re- 
tained the name ever after. Hence it came to pass 
that during the period we are treating of many were 
living together who had executed this high office. 

This however is thought by learned men not to 
be a sufficient ground for the use of the expressions 
before us ^. It is observed by some of them, that the 
Talmudists speak much of a sogan, or vice high 
priest, and say that there were under him two ka- 
thiloMn, or principal overseers of the treasures ; and 
under them seven immerlmUn, who kept the keys 
of the seven gates of the court of the temple ; and 
under these three gisharin^ or under-treasurers. Be- 
sides these were the heads or chiefs of the twenty- 
four courses of priests appointed by David. All 
these are supposed to go under the name of ap%<e- 
pug^, or high priests, both in the New Testament 
and the History of Josephus. The learned Dr. Light- 
foot seems to think that not only the twenty-four 
chiefs of the courses, but that all the heads of the 

c. 5. §. 2. p. 1 183. 1. II. et §, 5. p. 1185. 1. 22. et c. 9. §. II. 
p. 1201. 1. 42. et 1. 5. c. 13. §. J. et 1. 6. c. 2. §. 2. et c. 9. §. 3. 
Vit. §. 2. p. 905. pr. et §. 5. p. 906. 1. 1 1, et p. 923. 1, 16. 35. 

*-" Vid. Grot, in Malt. ii. 4. et Hudson. Not. in Joseph, de Bell. 
1. 4. c. 5. §. 2. et Antiq. 1. 20. c. 6. §. 8. 

f Vid. Seld. de Syned. 1. 3. c. 8. §. 6. et de Success, in Pontif. 
c. 12. p. 139, 140. Light, vol. 1. p. 911 — 918. 


families in each course, and that all the priests who 
were at any time chosen into the sanhedrim, or 
great council, went under the name of ap^^epei^, or 
chief priests s. Even in the Old Testament we read 
of Zephaniah the second priest ^ which is under- 
stood by learned men of the sagan or vice high 
priest ', spoken of in the Jewish writers ; and is so 
interpreted by the Chaldee paraphrast on the place. 
We also read of priests of the second order ^^ which 
is understood of the sagcm, and those priests who 
were next to him in office and dignity. And in an- 
other part of the Old Testament it is said, Col sarei 
cohcmim ^, " All the princes or chiefs of the priests 
*' have transgressed," And long before this, in the 
time of David, when they were first divided into 
courses, there is mention made of the chiefs of the 
fathers of the priests •", translated by the Septuagint 
ap')(ovT€g rm irarpiav ruv lepeav, the princes or governors 
of the families of the priests. The manner of ex- 
pression before us seems therefore to be much more 
ancient than the reign of Herod, and to be derived 
down from the times of the Old Testament. 

^. 2. There is no one who reads the history of 
the Acts but must immediately see that the high 
priests were at the head of affairs in the Jewish 
nation. The same thing is equally evident to every 
one who peruses Josephus's History of the Jewish 
Wars ^. He seldom mentions dpxtepe7$, or the chief 

s Vol. I. p. 439. vol. 2. p. 109, no. ''2 Kings xxv. 18. 

Jer. lii. 24. ' Vid. Grot, et Patrick on 2 Kings xxv. 18. 

^ 2 Kings xxiii. 4. Vid. Grot, et Patrick in loc. ' 2 Chron. 

xxxvi. 14: in the LXX. indeed there is another reading, 

"^ I Chron. xxiv. 6.31. Raschei haaboth haccohanim. " Vid. 
et contr. Apion. 1. 2. §. 21. fin. et Antiq. 1.4. c. 18. §. 14. fin. 


priests, but he joins them with ol twarot °, to yvcopifxw- 

raTOV V, aXXoi dvjtveU, oi irpaTOi ^, oi irpo^crraTeg rov itX-fj- 
6cvg \ or 17 ^ovXri % that is, those who had the greatest 
authority in the nation. It fully appears also from 
the Talmud that the priests made up a great part 
of the sanhedrim, or supreme council, of the Jewish 
nation \ 

The members of this council, according to the 
Acts and the four Gospels, were the chief priests, 
the elders, and the scribes ". The Talmudical writers 
tell us that all the members of the council were or- 
dained elders " : and from various sayings of the 
same writers it appears that they esteemed them all 
to be Scribes '^. The general signification of the 

° De Bell. 1. 2. c. 14. §. 8. et c. 15. §. 2. et c. 17. §. 3.5. 

P De Bell. 1. 2. c. 14. §. 8. et c. 15. §. 3, 4. et c. 17. §. 2. 

1 Vit. §. 2. p. 905. pr. et c. 5. p. 906. 1. 1 1. ■■ Vit. p. 923. 

1. 16. ^ De Bell. 1. 2. c. 15. §. 6. et c. 16. §. 2. 

' Vid. Light, vol. 1. p. 282. vol. 2. p. 469. Grot, in Matt. v. 22, 
p. 43. f. et 45. Seld. de Syned. 1. 2. c. 8. §. 3. p. 1403. Herod, 
it is true, slew all the members of the sanhedrim who sat in judg- 
ment upon him under Hyrcanus excepting Sameas. Antiq. 1. 14. 
c. 9. §. 4. et 1. 15. c. I. §. I. But it noways follows from thence 
that he discontinued that court. Had he made so great an al- 
teration in the government, doubtless Josephus would have in- 
formed us of it. That it continued under the Romans is evident 
from various places in Josephus. The letter of tlie emperor 
Claudius is directed to them, Antiq. 1. 20. c. i. §. 2. Florus the 
governor sent for them, de Bell. 1. 2. c. 15. §. 6; and they are 
mentioned again, c. 16. §. 2. 

" Acts iv. 5, 6. 15. v. 21. 24. vi. 12, and xxii. 5. Luke xxii. 66. 
Mark xv. i. Matt. xxvi. 59. 

" Vid. Seld. de Syn. 1. i. c. 14. p. 1088. 1. 2. c. 7. p. 1331. de 
Uxor. Heb. 1. i. c. 15. Eutych. Orig. p. 436. Light, vol. i. p. 612. 
vol. 2. p. 755. 

>■ Vid. Seld. de Jur. Nat. 1. 4. c. 8. p. 476. Light, vol. 2. p. 
110. and 422. vol. 1. p. 654. 


word Scribes among them is, men learned in their 
law ^. Now forasmuch as this learning was a ne- 
cessary qualification in order to the being admitted 
members of the sanhedrim ^ what must be meant 
by the word Scribes as distinguished from that of 
Elders ? The learned Grotius, to avoid the difficulty 
of this question, will not allow them to be properly 
members of the sanhedrim, but only assessors '', men 
of approved learning, who were present in the san- 
hedrim to give their opinion when matters of a 
more nice and intricate nature lay before them, but 
had no voice in the determining or judicial part. 
Our countryman Dr.Lightfoot understands by Scribes 
sometimes those members of the sanhedrim who kept 
divinity schools, and were public teachers of their 
law*=; at other times those members, who although 
not high priests, yet were of the tribe of Levi ^. The 
last opinion seems to me the most probable. This 
exactly agrees with the description of the sanhedrim 
as restored by good king Jehoshaphat, SChron. xix. 8. 
Moreover in Jerusalem did Jehoshaphat set of the 
Levites, and of the ^wiests^ and of the chief of the 
fathers of Israel, for the judgment of the Ijord, 
and for controversies. The chief of the fathers of 

^ Vid. Light, vol. 2. p. 421, 422. 

« Vid. Seld. de Syn. 1.2. c. 6. §.3. p. 1324, 1325. etc. 7. 
§. 2. p. 1336, 1337. et c. 9. §. I. pr. and were called rabbi or 
teachers, vid. p. 1333. 1335. 1347. 1373. 

^ In Matt. ii. 4. p. 17. b. 12. and 16, 21. p. 164. a. 25. and 
in Acts iv. 5. p. 588, b. 3. Of such assessors see Light, vol. 2. 
p. 422, who seems to give into this opinion, p. 652. And of the 
assessors to the courts of Twenty-three, see Seld. de Syn. 1.2. 
c. 6. §. 2. p. 1321, 1322. 

c Vol. I. p. 654. 

^ Vol. I. p. 439. fin. and p. 760. and vol. 2. p. 469. 
H 2 


Israel answer to the Elders, and the Levites to the 
Scribes. The Levites, having a tenth part of the 
product of the land given them for their subsistence, 
were more at leisure to study the law than the other 
tribes. That very great numbers of them made pro- 
ficiency herein we have no reason to doubt, since we 
read that in David's time no less than six thousand 
of this tribe were officers and judges®. The most 
learned therefore being usually of this tribe, and 
there being few in comparison who attained to any 
considerable knowledge of the law in the other 
tribes, it is probable the word Scribes when men- 
tioned alone was understood of them ; and when it 
was intended to speak of the learned men of the 
other tribes it was used with the addition of the 
word people, as Matt. ii. 4. the Scribes of the peo- 
ple. The prophet Moses, foreseeing that the priests 
and Levites would be the most skilful in the law he 
had delivered, directs the people to them for the 
final determination of their more difficult causes; 
Deut. xvii. 9- From which text Maimonides col- 
lects that the priests and Levites were by the divine 
order principally intended to be members of the 
great council ; but if such are not to be found, al- 
though they were all Israelites, it is allowed ^. 

^. 3. We read in the history of the Acts that the 
members of the Jewish sanhedrim, or great council, 
were of different sects ; that there were both Pha- 
risees and Sadducees who composed this council ? : 
that there should be of the pharisaic sect is but 
natural to suppose, when Josephus informs us that 

<= I Chron. xxiii. 4. ' In Sanhed, c. 2. Vid. Light, vol. 2. 

p. 469. Seld. de Syned. 1. 2. c. 8. §. 2. p. 1397, &c. 
s Cb. xxiii. 6. See also ch. iv. 1,6. and v. 17. 


the multitude of the Jewish nation were their fol- 
lowers, and under their influence ^. And when he 
tells us that the Sadducees were of the wealthiest ' 
and chief men for dignity '', and that whenever they 
were in the government they were forced to yield 
to the dictates of the Pharisees through fear of the 
multitude^, this evidently proves that there might 
also be, and probably were, many Sadducees sitting 
in this council. And the Talmudists expressly tell 
us that there was once a sanhedrim made up chiefly, 
if not wholly, of Sadducees ™. 

^.4. It is said. Acts v. 17, that the high priest 
rose up, and all they that were with him, which is 
the sect of the Sadducees. From hence, together 
with what is said in the foregoing chapter, the 
learned Grotius concludes that the high priest and 
his kindred were at this time of the sect of the 
Sadducees. This follows not by any necessary con- 
sequence from the expressions here used ; but it is 
not a little probable that it was so in fact. That 
there were high priests of this sect is evident both 
from Josephus and the Talmud. In the latter is 
related the great caution used, lest the high priest 
on the great day of expiation should administer 
after the manner of the Sadducees " : according to 
the former, Hyrcanus and his sons Aristobulus and 
Alexander were high priests of the sect of the ^Sad- 

•> Antiq. 1. 13. c. lo. §. 5, 6. ' Ibid. ^ ibj^i, ], jg^ 

c. I. §. 4- ^ Ibid. "1 Sanhed. f. 52. i. Vid. Light, 

vol. 2. p. 571. Vitring, de Syn. vet. 1. i. c. 7. p. 160. 

" Joma, c. I. §.5. Vid. notas in Surenhusii Mishna. Seld. de 
Syn. 1.3. c. II. §. 2. p. 1687, 1688. Light, vol. i. p. 655. and 
Megil. f. 24. quoted by hiin. 

" Antiq. 1. 13. c. 10. §. 6, et c. 15. §. 5. 



ducees. He also tells us that Ananus the high 
priest was of this sect 'i. He was the son of Annas 
the high priest, mentioned both in the Gospels and 
the book of Acts ; which Annas had five sons, who 
were all raised to the high priesthood ', as was also 
his son-in law Caiaphas. It was during the high 
priesthood of this Caiaphas that passed the trans- 
actions we have referred to as mentioned in the 
fourth and fifth chapters of the Acts : and it is very 
probable that Annas himself, and each of his sons, 
together with his son-in-law Caiaphas, were favour- 
ers of the Sadducees, if not professedly of that sect. 
It is true, Josephus does not assert of any of them 
that they were Sadducees, excepting Ananus; but 
he had not the same occasion given him, when 
speaking of them, to say of what sect they were, as 
he had when speaking of Ananus. 

§. 5. We learn from the Talmudists that Gama- 
liel succeeded his father Simeon as president of the 
sanhedrim, and continued in that office till within 
eighteen years of the destruction of Jerusalem ^ : 
and by what is related of him in the fifth chapter of 
the Acts it evidently appears that he was a person 
of no small weight and influence in the Jewish 
council. St. Paul, speaking of himself, says, that he 
was educated at Jerusalem under Gamaliel * : and 
it is very certain, if the Talmud may be at all be- 
lieved, that the president and vice-president of the 
sanhedrim were the most eminent teachers of the 
law ". St. Paul's words are, that he was hrovghf 

'I Anti(|. 1. 20. c. 8. §. I. ■■ Id. ibid, and John xviii. it,. 

" \'id. Liglit. vol. I. p. 278. 765. 2009. vol. 2. p. 15. 

' Acts xxii. 3. 

•' See what Light, says of Anligoiius of Socho, vol. i. p. 457. 


up at the feet of Gamaliel. There has been a dis- 
pute among learned men concerning the meaning 
of this phrase ^. Far the greater part, I think, look 
upon it as an allusion to the posture or situation of 
the scholar while he was learning, which they de- 
scribe as sitting at the feet of his master. There 
lies but one objection to this, as far as I have been 
able to find ; and that is, a tradition of the Talmud, 
" that from the days of Moses to Rabban Gamaliel 
" they learned the law standing ; but when Rabban 
" Gamaliel died, the world languished, so that they 
" learnt the law sitting y." To avoid the force of 
this objection, the learned Grotius understands the 
tradition in this limited sense, that whilst the words 
of the law itself were read, they all stood ; but whilst 
the masters discoursed from those words, or gave 
them lessons, they all sat ^. While the words of the 
law were read, both masters and scholars all stood. 
Thus Ezra and all the people stood, while the book 
of the law was open ^. Thus our Saviour, when in 
the synagogue of Nazareth, while he read, was 
standing ; but when he had delivered back the book 
to the minister he sat down, and preached or in- 
structed the people '^ : and Josephus tells us, that the 

vol. 2. p. 699. and 700 ; of Shemaiah and Abtalion, p. 2008; of 
Hillel and Shammai, vol. i. p. 207. 514. 2008. vol. 2. 206, 207. 
Vitrin. de Synag. vet. 1. i. p. i. c. 7. p. 158, &c. Seld. de Syn. 
1. 2. c. 4. §. 10. etc. 16. §. 10. De Uxor. Heb. c. 20. p. 769, &c. 

* Vid. Vitrin. de Synag. vet. 1. i. p. i. c. 7. p. 168. 

y Megil. f. 21, I. Vid. Light, vol. i. p. 619. vol. 2. p. 395,6. 
et Vitrin. de Synag. vet. 1. i. p. i. c. 7. p. 166, 167. 

2 In Acts xxii. 3. ■' Neh. viii. 5. ^ Luke iv. 17. 

Vid. Light, vol. 2. p. 405. fin. 406. and vol. i. p. 614. 
H 4 


high priest at the end of every seven years stood 
and read the law to the people ^. 

Maimonides, it is true, understands this tradition 
in a more extensive sense ; that learners stood, not 
only while the words of the law were read, hut 
during the whole time that they were under in- 
struction ^. But is it not possible he might be mis- 
led by the modern practice of the Jews, which is, 
to sit as well when the words of the law are read 
as when they have any instructive discourses made 
to them ? might he not hence too hastily conclude 
that they stood during both, before the alteration 
was made ? 

There are several phrases in the Old Testament, 
which seem plainly to refer to this custom of scho- 
lars sitting at the feet of their teachers ^. There is 
a saying also in the Talmud itself, ascribed to Joses 
the son of Joezer, who was president of the sanhe- 
drim three hundred years before Gamaliel's death *, 
which many of the Jewish masters expound to this 
sense ; and indeed it will not easily bear any other. 
The saying is, " Let thy house be an house of as- 
" sembly for wise men, and dust thyself in the dust 
" of their feet, and drink their words with thirst?." 

Maimonides tells us it was not the custom in 
their schools for the master to sit in a chair, and 
the scholars to sit on the ground, but that either all 

'^ Antiq. 1. 4. a*8. §. 12. prin. p. 162. 
•^ Vid. Vitr. de Syn. vet. I. i. p. i. c. 7. p. 166. 
^ Gen. xlix. 10. Deut. xxxiii. 3. 2 Kings ii. 3. See Patrick on 
that text, and on 2 Kings iv. 38. 

f Vid. Light, vol. i. p. 2008. Prid. Conn. vol. 2. p. 53. 
B Vid. Vitr. de Synag. vet. 1. i. p. i. c. 7. p. 168, 169. 


sat on the ground or all in chairs ^ : that it was not 
always thus is fully evident from the Talmud ; for 
Rabbi Eleazer ben Shamma being asked how he 
came to that great age, answered, I never walked 
upon the heads of the holy people '. The gloss is, 
upon the heads of his disciples sitting upon the 
ground : and it is said of Rabbi Rabb that he would 
not sit upon his bed and read to his scholar while 
he sat upon the ground. The gloss is, either both 
should be on the bed or both on the ground ^. These 
sayings fully intimate that other masters, if not the 
generality of masters, had done otherwise : whence 
else arises the praise and commendation given to 
the persons here spoken of? But that which, I 
think, fully confirms the matter to us, is what Mai- 
monides himself relates concerning their judicial 
courts of Twenty-three. In all which, he says, were 
three orders of disciples sitting one beneath the 
other ^ Now if they sat thus beneath each other, 
and consequently beneath their masters in their 
courts of judicature, wherein they were properly 
assessors, and upon difficult causes were ordained 
and removed to the bench itself : I say, if they sat 
beneath their masters in the courts of judicature, 
can it be doubted that they sat beneath them also 
in their schools ? Philo also, giving an account of 
the Essenes, says, " When they come into the holy 
" places, that are called synagogues, they sit in 
" ranks according to their different ages, the younger 

^ Vid. Vitr. ibid. p. i66. 

' See this explained from the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhed. f. 
7. 2. by Light, vol. 2. p. 135, fin. 
^ Vid. Light, vol. 2. p. 396. 
' Vid. Seld. de Syned. 1. 2. 6. §. 2. p. 1322. 


*' under the elder '"." Upon the whole therefore I 
cannot but conclude that what is delivered to us by 
Pseudo-Ambrosius, in his Commentary upon the 
First Epistle to the Corinthians, as a Jewish tra- 
dition, was the real fact ; " That in their schools 
" the seniors in dignity sat in chairs, the next to 
" them on inferior benches, and the last of all upon 
" mats laid on the ground "." 

^. 6. There is an officer named in the history of 
the Acts aTpaTYjyoi tov Upov : we translate it, captam 
of the temple ". He is sjDoken of as forward and 
busy in apprehending the disciples. Dr. Lightfoot 
in one part of his works p takes this to be a Roman 
officer, who had the command of the guard in the 
tower of Antonia, which, as Josephus informs us, 
were upon all feast-days placed in the porch of the 
temple, to prevent tumults, and preserve peace ; and 
several learned men went before him in this opinion. 
But there is one thing in the text which in my 
mind is wholly inconsistent herewith : the persons 
under the command of this captain are not called 
soldiers, but ministers, vTTVjphai : we indeed have 
translated it officers; Then went the captam with 
the officers, and hronght them imthont violence. 
The word never signifies military officers, but civil, 
the officers of justice. Besides, what should make 
the Romans so zealous in apprehending the apo- 
stles? In another part of his works therefore the 
doctor rejects this opinion as improbable, and tells 
us ^ from the Talmud that in three places the priests 

'" Quod omnis probus liber, p. 877. D. 

" Vid. Vitr. de Synag. vet. p. 169. fin. et Grot, in Act. xxii. 3. 
" Ch. iv. 1. and v. 24, 26. v Vol. i. p. 759. 1060. 

'! \o\. 2. p. 471. 6t;i. 


kept watch and ward in the temple, the Levites in 
one and twenty places more. Each of these watches 
had a captain or head over them, and he that had 
the command of all these watches, called in the 
Talmud the ruler of the mountain of the house or 
temple, is probably the person styled here the ccifp- 
tain of the temple -, and a-rpaTyiyo] tqv lepov, or the cajj- 
tains of the teniple, mentioned in St. Luke's gospel'', 
might be the chief captain, together with those who 
were next him in command. 

Nor is Josephus wholly silent concerning this 
officer. He does not indeed name him (npaTYiyog rov 
lepov, but he mentions two persons, Ananus and Eli- 
ezer, both sons of Ananias, who was one of the 
wealthiest and most powerful of all those who had 
executed the office of high priest ; each of these he 
terms arpaT-rffig ^, and it is fully evident from what 
he says of the one of them that his command lay 
wholly in the temple. The words of Josephus are, 
" Eliezer the son of Ananias the high priest, Kara, to 
" Upov (jxpa-rriym tot€, performing at that time in the 
" temple the office of 6 a-rpaT'/jyog, being at that time 
" the chief commanding officer in the temple, pre- 
" vailed with those who performed the divine ser- 
" vice not to receive the offering or sacrifice of any 
" foreigner. This was the foundation of the war 
" with the Romans ; for they rejected the sacrifice 
" of Caesar for them : and although the chief priests 
" and great men interceded much with them not to 
" omit the custom of sacrificing for their governors, 
" they would not yield, trusting much to their num- 

"^ Ch. xxii. 4, 52. ■■ Anliq. 1. 10. c. 5. §. 2. et c. 8. §.3. 

de Bell. 1. 2. c. 12. §.6. et c. i 7. §. 2. 


" bers ; but especially because of the regard they 
" had to Eliezer o ar^a-vyfpq^ the chief commanding 
" officer." As the temple is the place where he is 
expressly said to have executed his office, so it is 
plain that his sway and influence lay among the 
people there *. 

^. 7- It appears to any one who reads the history 
of the Acts, that the Jews had synagogues or places 
of worship in almost every city which they inha- 
bited, whether in the land of Judaea or out of it : 
and that in large cities, where there were many 
Jews, they had more than one, as particularly in 
Jerusalem ", Damascus ^, and Salamis y. The prac- 
tice of the Jews at this time in all nations where 
they are tolerated, together with the reason and 
nature of the thing, might here suffice, although 
there were nothing left to confirm this in any an- 
cient authors extant. But we have abundant proof 
of the truth of this representation, not only from 
Josephus, who mentions various synagogues of the 
Jews as well in foreign cities as in their own, but 
from Philo, who, as in one part of his works he tells 
us that there were Jews inhabiting most of the 
cities in the provinces of Europe and Asia, and that 
they had synagogues in every place '-, so in another 
says there were many synagogues in every division 
of the city of Alexandria ^ ; and from the poet Ju- 
venal, who in those words, " In qua te quaero pros- 
" eucha^" plainly intimates that there were several 

' Vid. Grot, in Matt, xxvi. 45. et Basnage Annal. Pol. Eccles. 
p. 439. §. 9. " Ch. vi. 9. " Ch. ix. 2. 20. 

y Ch. xiii. 5. ^ In Flaccum, p. 971. D. et 972. 

* In Leg. ad Caium, p. loii. a. ToJv Tr/ioo-etx^" woXXaJ 8e €»V* 
Kafl' fKao-Tov Tjix^jtAa tij^ iro'Xfw^. ^ Sat. 3. V. 296. 


Jewish synagogues in the city of Rome. The Tal- 
mudists tell us that there were four hundred and 
eighty in Jerusalem '^j four hundred at Either '\ thir- 
teen at Tiberias °, eighteen at Zippor ^ And Mai- 
monides lays it down as an ancient tradition, that 
in every place where there were ten Israelites, who 
were of age, and were free, they were constrained 
to build a synagogue s. 

^. 8. Of these synagogues were certain rulers in 
chief, called, in the history of the Acts and in the 
Gospels, ap-x^ia-vvdyayoi. There were often several of 
these to one synagogue ; for when Paul and Bar- 
nabas were in the synagogue at Antioch in Pisidia, 
it is said, o; ap^K^vvdyicyoi, the chief rulers of the 
synagogue sent unto them '^ ; and St. Mark says of 
Jairus, who dwelt at Capernaum, where in all pro- 
bability there was but one synagogue, that he was 
ilg Twv dpy^iavvay^yoiv i : and both Crispus and Sos- 

<= Gemara Megill. Hierosol. ad cap. 3. fol. 73. col. 4. Vid. Vitr. 
de Syn. vet. Prol, cap. 4. p. 28. and Lightfoot, vol. 2. p. 35. and 
664. ^ Bab Gemara ad tit. Gittin, c. 6. fol. 58. 1. Vid. 

Seld. de Syned. 1. 2, c. 7. §. 6. p. 135 1, fin. et Buxtorf. Lex. 
Chald. in voc. Cheneseth, p. 1056, pr. ^ Bab Berach, fol. 

30. 2. Vid. Light, vol. 2. p. 72, fin. ^ Vid. Light, vol. 2. 

p. 75' pr- 

g Hilcoth Tephilla, c. 11. §. i. Vid. Vitr. de Synag. vet. l.i. 
p. 2. c. 12. p. 232. et Seld. de Syned. 1. 3. c. 16. §. i. p. 1883, 
fin. where are many other masters quoted to the same purpose. 
Dr. Lightfoot understands this of ten Batlanin, men of leisure or 
learning, three of which, he says, were always ordained elders or 
judges, and were properly qX apxKrwdyuyoi ; vol. 2. p. 132, 133. 
179. 755. and vol. i. p. 610. Compare what he says, vol. 2. 
p. 638. with Seld. de Syn. 1. 2. c. 5. §. 4. p. 1313, 13 14. 

^ Acts xiii. 15. 

' Ch. v. 22; for John vi. 59. it is said, TuZra thev eu a-vvaywyri. 


thenes are named in the Acts of the Apostles as 
being each apx^^vvaywyoi at Corinth "^ ; but that being 
a large and populous city, it is very possible there 
might be more synagogues than one in it : whether 
they belonged therefore to one and the same syna- 
gogue is altogether uncertain. That there were 
officers among the Jews who went under this name 
is evident from the emperor Adrian's letter to Ser- 
vianus the consul, preserved by Vopiscus ' ; from the 
reproach thrown upon the emperor Alexander Se- 
verus, reported by Lampridius, who says he was 
called m'chisynagogus, being a Syrian by nation, 
and being thought to favour the Jewish and Chris- 
tian religions "^ ; and from several rescripts in the 
Theodosian code which make express mention of 
these officers among the Jews ". 

Some of these laws explain to us who these archi- 
synagogi were : archisynagogi sive preshyteri Ju- 
dceorum °. They were the elders of the Jews ; and 
this exactly agrees with what the Talmudical and 
other Jewish writers tell us ; that their ordained 
elders, as they were the judges in their courts of 
judicature, so they were the masters in their schools, 

6«Sao"»c&'V iv Ka^ntpvaovi/., not tv jai^ tuv avvocyuyuv, as Luke Xlll. lO. 
Vid. Vitr. de Synag. vet. 1. 2. c. 11. p. 583, 584. et Grot, in Matt, 
ix. 18. 

^ Acts xviii. 8. 17. Vid. Grot, in loc. et Vitr. ubi supra. 

' In Saturnine, c. 8. Vid. Seld. de Syn. 1. 2. c. 7. §. 6. p. 1353. 
Vitr. de Synag. vet. 1. 2. c. 5. p. 5 18. 

■" In Alex. Severe, c. 28. Vid. Vitr. de Syn. vet. 1. 2. c. 5. p. 
527. etc. II. p. 587, 588. 

" L. 4. de Judaeis et Coelicolis, et 1. 2. 13, 14, 15. ejusdem tit. 
Vid. Vitrin. de Syn. vet. p. 524, 525. 586. 589, 590. 

° L. 2, et 15. Cod. Theod. de Judaeis et Coelicolis. Vid. Seld- 
de Syned. 1. 2. c. 7. p. 1353. 


and the chief rulers in their synagogues p. Whicli 
lets us into the reason why persons were scourged 
in their synagogues. 

§.9. The chief rulers of the synagogues being 
also the judges of the people in many cases, espe- 
cially those which regarded religion, chose to give 
sentence against offenders, and see their sentence 
executed in the synagogue ^. For punishment being 
designed in terrorem, what more likely way to 
strike an awe, and deter men from falling into the 
like errors, than to have it executed in their reli- 
gious assemblies, and in the face of the congrega- 
tion ? And this accounts for that confusion there is 
in the Jewish writers when they speak of heth din 
and beth cheneseth ; their courts of law and their 
synagogues being often put one for the other ^ Our 
Lord foretold that his disciples should be scourged 
in the synagogues ' ; and St. Paul informs us that 
he was an instrument in fulfilling this, having beaten 
them that believed in every synagogue ^ This of 
scourging persons in their synagogues is a custom 
that has prevailed among the Jews from that time 
down to our own. Uriel Acosta declares, that after 
he had been excommunicated, this among other con- 
ditions of public penance was prescribed him by the 
chief of the Jews at Amsterdam, that he should re- 

P Maimon. Hilcoth Taanioth, c. i. §. 17. Vid. Vitr. de Synag. 
vet. p. 554. 562-3. et 777. Seld. de Syned. 1. i. c. 7. p. 863. 

1 Persons were always scourged in the presence of the judges. 
Vid. Vitr. p. 777. et Seld. de Syned. 1. 2. c. 13. §.6. p. 1502, fin. 

■■ As also their heth midrash. Vid. Vitr. de Prol. p. 28. 
et p. 134-5- 525- 554- 578- 744- 749- Light- vol. 2. p. 135, 136. 

* Matt. X. 17. and xxiii. 34. 

' Acts xxii. 19. and xxvi. 11. 


ceive forty stripes save one in the synagogue " : and 
Rabbi Jacob ben Asher reports it to have been the 
custom in Germany that the whole congregation 
after evening prayer, on the day of expiation, should 
receive forty stripes in the synagogue by w^ay of 
penance ^. Karo says the same, but speaks of it as 
a more universal practice. And Epiphanius, in the 
history he gives of Joseph the apostle, expressly 
says that he was forced away by the Jews into their 
synagogue, and there scourged >\ 

" Vid, Vitr. de Syn. vet. 1. 3. p. i. c. 1 1. p. 776. fin. 
^ Vid. Seld. de Syned. 1. i. c. 7. p. 878. v Contra H«- 

res, torn. 2. 1. i. p. 135. Vid. Vitr. 1. 3. c. 1 1. p. 776. 


CHAP. VI. in two Parts. 
Part I. Shewing that the Jewish magistrates 
when under the Romans had the j)ower of in- 
flicting capital pu7iishments. 

Part II. That the jurisdictioyi of the high priest 
and council over the Jews in religious matters 
extended en en to foreign cities. 

Part I. The Introduction. 

ST. PAUL was so eager in harassing the poor 
Christians, that he not only beat and imprisoned 
them in Judaea^, but persecuted them even to 
strange cities ^ ; and had letters from the high priest 
and Jewish sanhedrim to the synagogues and bre- 
thren at Damascus, that if he found any of that pro- 
fession there he might bring them bound to Jeru- 
salem for to be punished ^. It is said that he breathed 
out threateiiings and slaughter ^ : that he perse- 
cuted this waij unto the death ^ : and when the 
saints were put to death, he gave his voice against 
them K There are two things here which offer them- 
selves to our inquiry : the first is, whether the Jews, 
being at this time under the Roman yoke, had the 
power of inflicting death or any corporal punish- 
ments upon criminals ? and, secondly, taking it for 
granted that they had, how the authority of the 
high priest and Jewish council could be extended to 
Damascus or any foreign cities ? 

Learned men, I find, differ not a Httle in their 

^ Acts viii. 3. xxii. 4. 19. and xxvi. 10, 11. 

^ Ch. xxvi. II. "^ Cli. ix. 2. and xxii. 5. "^ Acts ix. i. 

"^ Ch. xxii. 4. f Ch. xxvi. 10. 



opinions concerning the power left with the Jewish 
magistrates when their country was made a Roman 
province. I have met but with two authors who 
have professedly wrote on this subject. They both 
maintain the same side of the question. The one is 
a learned foreigner, Zechariah Huber, advocate and 
senator s ; the other our ingenious and learned coun- 
tryman Mr. Lardner^'. The reasons urged by these 
gentlemen are far from giving me satisfaction, and 
I cannot but think there is much greater probability 
on the other side of the question. Many authors 
tell us their opinion on this subject, but add little or 
nothing to shew upon what foundation they build. 
The great and learned Grotius says, that with regard 
to scourging, their power remained safe after Judaea 
was reduced to a province ' : in another place, that 
the power of the sanhedrim was restrained when 
Judaea was made a province, it being ordained, as in 
almost all other provinces of the Roman empire, that 
the senate should put no one to death without the 
consent of the Roman governor, all other judiciary 
power belonging to the sanhedrim being preserved 
to them ^. It is much to be regretted that he has 
not given us his authorities for what he here asserts. 
I am fully persuaded that he was not always of this 
mind : for in his book de Jure BelU et Pads he has 
these words; Sic ajnul Judceos mansit sceptruvi 
in synedrio etiam j)ost confiscationem Archelai ^ : 
" so the sceptre remained among the Jews in the 
" sanhedrim even after the confiscation of Archelaus," 

fi In ;i book entitled Dissertationum Libri Ties, Dissert, i. 1. i. 
'' In his Credibility of the Gospel History, vol. i. chap. 2. 
' In Joann. xviii. 31. •'In Matt. v. 22. p. 45. a. 1. 35. 

' L. 3. c. 15. §.9. p. 851. pr. 


i. e. after Judaea was made a Roman province. He 
is speaking, in the words both before and after this 
sentence, of the power granted to kings by their 
conquerors, in which all acknowledge was included 
jus gladii, or the power of taking away the lives of 
their subjects. He has indeed quoted the Talmud- 
ists, as saying that capital judgments were taken 
away from the sanhedrim forty years "' before the 
destruction of Jerusalem ". But this by no means 
comes up to the point : for had they meant that the 
power of inflicting death was taken away from them 
by the Romans when their land was made a pro- 
vince, they should have said that capital judgments 
were taken from the sanhedrim above sixty years 
before the destruction of Jerusalem : for it was sixty- 
five years, I think, before that dreadful overthrow 
that Quirinus was sent by Augustus to confiscate 
the goods of Archelaus, and reduce his ethnarchy to 
a Roman province. Let me add to this, that the 
indefatigable and most learned Selden fully proves 
from the Talmudical writers that the meaning of 
this saying is not that capital judgments were wholly 
taken away, but that they were interrupted, and 
much disused to what they had formerly been ° : 
and I doubt not but this whole dispute had been 
set by him in the clearest light from the best au- 
thorities, had it pleased God to grant him life to 
have finished what he proposed p. Grotius tells us 

*" The learned Wagenseil contends that instead of forty it 
should be read four years, Carm. R. Lipmanni Confut. p. 312. 
318. pr. 326 et 327. 

" In Matt. V. 22. J). 45. a. 1. 41. 

" De Syned. 1. 2. c. 15. §. 1 1, p. 1560-1-2. 

I' Vid. Seld. de Syned. 1. 3. c. 6. §. 4. p. 1654. 
I 2 


from the Jews, that capital judgments were exercised 
by the sanhedrim after the Babylonish captivity 
through the grant of the kings of Persia^. He 
might also have informed us, from authors of the 
same nation, that capital judgments were exercised 
by the sanhedrim under the Romans. 


An answer to thejirst argument^ taken from the civil law. 

The learned gentlemen above named, who have 
professedly treated on this subject, use two sorts of 
arguments to prove that the Jews were deprived of 
the power of inflicting capital punishments by the 
Romans when Judaea was made a province ; the 
one taken from the Roman laws, or nature of the 
Roman government, the other from certain passages 
of the New Testament. It is my intention first to 
answer these arguments, and then to offer the rea- 
sons which induce me to think that the Jews had 
the power of inflicting death on criminals continued 
to them by the Roman emperors, even after Judaea 
was annexed to the province of Syria. 

That the arguments taken from the Roman law 
may be the better understood, it is necessary to pre- 
mise that the judge who had the cognisance of cri- 
minal affairs was said to have imperiiim merum, 
and he who had the determination of civil causes, 
such as concerned matters of property and right, 
was said to have imperium mixtum. Jurisdiction 
belonged properly to each of these magistrates ^ : the 

1 Imo et judicia capitalia ab hoc senatu (i.e. LXX. in exsilio 
Babylonico) exercita concessu regum Persarum tradiint Hebraei. 
In Matt. V. 22. p. 44, b. fin. 

' L. 7. §. 2. 1. 8. et 9. fr. de Officio Proc. 1. i. ff. de Officio 


imperium, or power, (for imperium and potestds in 
this case signify one and the same thing in the civil 
law ^ ; the power, I say,) that belonged to the latter 
was no more than was necessary to enforce his or- 
ders, or see his sentence executed ' ; and even that 
power was in some cases, at least in part, separable 
from jurisdiction ". Proconsuls and presidents of 
provinces had the whole of this power lodged with 
them : they had both imperium meriim and impe- 
rium mixtum ; had the cognisance of all criminal as 
well as civil affairs, and were next in power to the 
emperor himself, in those provinces over which they 
were placed ''. 

The first argument is taken from a law which 
says that the municipal magistrate cannot do those 
things which have more of ifiiperium than of juris- 

ejus cui mand. est Jurisd. Vid. Voet. in Pand. tit. de Jurisd. §. 5. 
Ut proinde errare videantur, qui merum imperium dictum arbi- 
trantur tanquam separatum ab omni jurisdictione, cum nullum 
omnino sive in republica sive sub imperatoribus tempus fuerit, 
quo assertionis islius Veritas obtinuit, §. 40. 

» L. 215. fr. de V. S. 

* L. 2. et 3. ff. de Jurisdict. Vid. Voet, in Pand. tit. de Ju- 
risd. §, 42. 

" The civilians will not allow that imperium and jurisdiction 
are ever separated. That they are never wholly separated may 
be a truth : but that they are sometimes in part separated is fully 
evident from 1. 26. ff. ad Municip. 1. un. ff. Si quis jus dicenti 
non obtemp. 1. 32. ff. de Injur. Vid. Voet. in Pand, tit, de Ju- 
risdict, §. 43, 44. However, if they will not admit of the word 
separated, the phrases magis imperii and magis jurisdictionis (which, 
in my mind, signify a partial separation) will serve the purpose 
as well. 

" L. 3, ff. de Jurisd. 1. i. pr, et §. 4. ff. de Off. Prsef. Urbi, 
1, 7, §. 2. et 1. 8. et 9. ff. de Off. Proc. 1. 10, 1 1, 12. de Off. Prs- 



diction > . This is one instance wherein imperium, 
or j)ower, was in great part separated from jurisdic- 
tion : for the municipal magistrates had not the 
power of compelling persons by punishments to obey 
their orders ^. These magistrates had so very little 
power over their subjects, that they are described in 
the law as being without power ^. It was permitted 
them, indeed, to chastise slaves, so they did it mode- 
rately ; but this was the utmost length they were 
allowed to go ^' : and this was no more than was al- 
lowed to the master of the slave *^, and seems at 
least to have been connived at in any other person ^. 
That there may be any consequence in the reason- 
ing founded upon this law, two things must be 
taken for granted : first, that this was part of the 
Roman law when Judaea was made a province ; and, 
secondly, that the municipal and provincial magis- 
trates were equally obliged by this law. I have 
seen nothing offered to clear up these two points, 

y Huber. Diss, i . 1. i . p. i i. Ea quae magis imperii sunt quaiu 
jurisdictionis, facere non possunt niagistratus nuinicipales. L. 26. 
ff. ad Municip. Vid. not. Gothofr. ad locum. 

^ Omnibus magistratibus, non tnmen duumviris, secundum jus 
potestatis sua; concessum est jurisdietioneni suam defendere poe- 
nali judicio. L. un. ff. Si quis jus dicenti non obtemp. 

" Si ex minoribus magistratibus erit, id est, qui sine in)perio 
aut potestate sunt niagistratus. L. 32. ff. de Injuriis. Vid. not. 
Goth, ad locum. 

'^ Magistratibus nnmicipalibus supplicium a servo sumere non 
licet; modica autem castigatio eis non est deneganda. L. 12. ff. 
de Jurisd. V^id. et 1. 17. §. i. ff. Qui et a (juibus manum. L. 15. 
§. 39. ff. de Injuriis. 

•^ L. un. C. de emend, serv. 

'' Si quis corrigendi animo, aut si quis emendandi servum (ali- 
enum verberaverit) non tenetur. L. 15. §. 38. ff. de Injuriis. 


which certainly ought to be fully proved before this 
argument can have any weight. 

I very much doubt whether there was any such 
law as this in being at the time we are speaking 
of ^ : and I believe every one who considers what is 
said of the Roman municipia, by Aulus Gellius and 
Festus, will be of my mind. Festus informs us that 
there were three sorts of municipia, which differed 
not a little the one from the other. Some of them 
had not the freedom of the city of Rome, so far as 
to vote for or be chosen magistrates of that city : 
others had, and were also governed by the Roman 
laws. Others, who had the same right, were wholly 
governed by their own laws, and had a republic of 
their own distinct from that of the Roman people ^. 
It is very plain, I think, that this was not the case 
at the time the law we are speaking of was made ; 
for that law includes all municipal magistrates with- 
out any distinction. Aulus Gellius not only tells us 
that the municipia were governed by their own 
laws, but adds further, that they were obliged by no 
law of the Roman people, unless it were adopted by 
their own voluntary consent s. And Alexander ab 
Alexandro, representing the sense of the ancient 
authors upon this head, says that the municipia fol- 

^ Voet seems to express the same doubt when he says the mu- 
nicipal magistrates are said to be without power, 1. 32. ff. de In- 
juriis, non alia, ut opinor, de causa, quam quia Ulpiani et Pauli 
tempore ipsis denegabantur ea quae magis imperii sunt quam ju- 
risdictionis. In Pand. tit. de Jurisdict. §. 43. p. 104, b. 

^ In voc. municipium et municeps. Vid. etiam Spanhem. Orbis 
Rom. Exerc. i. cap. 13. p. 99, &c. 

g Neque uUa populi Romani lege adstricti, ni populus eorum 
fundus factus est. Noct. Att. I. 16. cap. 13. For the meaning of 
this phrase consult Cic. pro Balbo, et Spanh. Orb. Rom. p. 97, 98. 

I 4 


lowed their own customs and laws sine imperio po- 
piiU Ilo77iam^\ They had a power, therefore, of 
their own to enforce their laws, and had no need 
to apply to the Roman magistrate to assist them 
herein. And indeed, had it not been so, how could 
it be said with any tolerable propriety, as it is by 
Festus, that they had republics separate or distinct 
from tlie Roman people ' ? Livy tells us of several 
people conquered by the Romans that chose rather 
to be governed by their own laws than to have the 
freedom of the city of Rome ^. And Aulus Gellius 
relates from Adrian, that the inhabitants of Praeneste 
besought the emperor Tiberius with great earnest- 
ness that of a colony they might be made a muni- 
cipium, and obtained it \ The reason was, that they 
might be governed by their own laws, whereas, 
while a colony, they were under the Roman laws. 
Is it possible to imagine that a people should be so 
very desirous of being governed by their own laws, 
if at the same time their magistrates had not the 
power of putting those laws in execution ? Of what 
advantage could their laws be to them, if they were 
not able to enforce the observation of them by proper 
punishments ? It is evident to me, therefore, that 
the law we are speaking of was made after the reign 
of Tiberius. The same thing appears also from the 
admiration expressed by the emperor Adrian that 

^ Genial. Dies, 1. 4. c. ]o. p. 974. 

' At Serfilius aiebat initio fuisse, qui ea conditione cives Ro- 
niani fuissent, ut semper rempublicani separalini a populo Ro- 
n)ano haberent. In voc. municeps. Vid. etiam Spanh. Or. R. Ex. 
I. cap. 13. p. 105. ^ L. 9. c. 43. 45. 

' Maximo opere a Tiberio imperatore petisse orasseque ut ex 
colonia in municipii statnm redigerentur. L. 16. c. 13. 


any ancient municipia, more particularly Italica and 
Utica, when they might use their own customs and 
laws, should gladly be made colonies "^ Most cer- 
tainly it could be no manner of wonder that the 
municipia should be greatly pleased with such a 
change, if their own laws were but a dead letter, 
and their magistrates had not the power to see them 
put in execution. Italica and Utica were muni- 
cipia during the reign of Tiberius, as is evident 
from his coin yet extant ". We may therefore firmly 
conclude that this law had no being in his time. 
It is not improbable it was the invention of some 
succeeding emperor, who was for spreading the ob- 
servation of the Roman laws every where through 
his dominions, at least among those who had the 
freedom of the city of Rome. In order to make 
those cities of Romans which had the privilege of 
living according to their own laws weary of that 
government, and the more easy and ready to receive 
the Roman laws, he by this law deprived their ma- 
gistrates of the power of enforcing their decrees and 
putting their laws in execution. This, it is likely, 
had in a great measure attained the end designed 
by the time Aulus Gellius flourished, which was, I 
think, in the reign of Antoninus Pius ; for he says, 
that the colonies, though less free, had the prefer- 
ence given them of the municipia because of the 
majesty of the Roman people, of which those colo- 

'" Mirarique se ostendit, quod et ipsi Italicenses, et qusedam 
item alia municipia antiqua, in quibus Uticenses nominal, cum 
siiis moribus legibitsque uti possent, in jus coloniarum mut.are ges- 
tiverint. L. i6. c. 13. 

" Vid. Cellarium, N. O. A. v. i. p. 53. et v. 3. Afr. p. 102. 
et Spanb. Orb. Rom. Ex. i. c. 16. p. 130, 131. 


nies were, as it were, small images and representa- 
tions; and also because the laws of the municipia 
were obscure and obliterated, and not capable of 
being used through the want of knowing them*'. 
The municipia lying under the disadvantage of such 
a law as this, it seems their laws, as it is natural to 
suppose they would soon, fell into disuse for want 
of a power to enforce them, and through neglect 
and disuse were oliliterated ; i. e. the knowledge of 
them was wholly lost, and the Roman law obtained 
in their stead ; insomuch that Gellius complains that 
the difference between the colonies and municipia 
was unknown in his time, and had occasioned no 
small confusion in their language p. But that which 
gave the finishing stroke to this work, and brought 
the provinces, as well as municipia, into the same 
state with the colonies, was the law of Antoninus 
Caracalla, which gave the freedom of the city of 
Rome to all the freeborn subjects of the Roman 
empire i. From this time all cities subject to Rome 

" Coloniarum alia necessitudo est jura institutaque omnia 

populi Roniani non sui arbitrii liabent ; quai tamen conditio 
qiuim sit magis obnoxia et minus libera, potior tamen et praesta- 
bilior existimatur propter amplitudinem majestatemque populi 
Romani, cujus istae colonise quasi effigies parvse simulacraque esse 
qusedam videntur ; et simul quia obscura obliterataque sunt mu- 
nicipiorum jura, quibiis uti jam per innotitiam non queunt. L. i6. 
c. 13. 

V Quotus enim fere nostrum est, qui quum ex colonia ex po- 
pulo Romano sit, non et se municipem esse, et populares suos 

municipes esse dicat? Sic adeo et municipia quid et quo jure 

sint, quantumque a colonia differant, ignoramus. Ibid. pr. 

•1 In orbc Romano qui sunt, ex constitutione imperatoris An- 
tonini cives Romani effect! sunt. L. 17. ff. de Statu Hom. Nov. 78, 
pr. et cap. i. Dio tells us that Maecenas advised Augustus to do 
this, 1.51. p. 370. But Suetonius says that Augustus was very 


were called niunicipia '', which, as it has occasioned 
a confusion in the expression, has added to the diffi- 
culty of understanding some parts of the civil law ^. 
Having given the reasons why I cannot prevail 
with myself to think that the law we are speaking 
of had a being at the time Judaea was made a pro- 
vince, I further proceed to shew, that although it 
were never so clear that this law is as ancient as 
the argument supposes it, yet the other thing here 
taken for granted is by no means supportable ; and 
that is, that the municipes and provincials were, at 
the time we are speaking of, upon the same footing, 
and equally obliged by this law. That they were 
so after the freedom of the city of Rome was com- 
municated to all the members of the Roman empire 
by Antoninus Caracalla, is easily granted : but to 
assert that they were so two hundred years before 
this, is to contradict all that has been said upon this 
subject by ancient writers, and to confound things 
which are most distinct. The municipes were Ro- 
man citizens, the provincials were not. Supposing 
therefore that this law had a being at the time we 
have mentioned, which I am persuaded it had not, 
is there no reason to be assigned why it should be 
confined to the municipes, why not extended to the 

sparing in granting to any the freedom of the city, and set his 
heart much upon keeping the Roman people pure from corrupt 
and servile mixtures, in Aug. c. 40. And Dionys. Hal. says, he 
gave it in his last commands to Tiberius not to confer the free- 
dom of the city on many, 1. 56. p. 541 . 

"■ Nunc abusive municipes dicimus susb cujusque civitatis cives ; 
ut puta Campanos, Puteolanos. L. i. §. 1. if. ad municipalem. 
Vid. Schulting. Jurisprud. vet. p. 402. n. I2,b. 

^ Vid. Spanheim. Orb. Rom. Ex. i. cap. 13. p. 106, 107. et 
Ex. 2. c. ult. p. 575, 576. 


provincials ? Might not the senate and people of 
Rome, or the emperor Augustus, judge it heneath 
the dignity of Roman citizens to be tried and pun- 
ished by any but magistrates of the first rank ? or to 
have even the municipal laws of Roman citizens en- 
forced by persons of a lower degree than those who 
enforced the Roman laws ? Might they not also be 
desirous that all such who were made partakers of 
the Roman citizenship should be governed by the 
Roman laws, and hope by this method the more 
easily to bring them to it ? But as the provincials 
did not stand in the same relation to them, it is na- 
tural to suppose they might not have the same con- 
cern for them, and therefore might leave them more 
under the power of their own magistrates. 


An ansiver to the second and third arguments, taken from 
the civil lazo. 

Another argument taken from the Roman law is, 
that merum imperium (or the power of judging and 
punishing criminals) belonged to no magistrate, un- 
less it were given him by some special law or con- 
stitution * ; insomuch that this power could by no 
means be transferred to those magistrates who had 
a delegated jurisdiction. Now if this power was not 
lodged in the Roman magistrates themselves, with- 
out an express law, it is not reasonable to judge that 
the Jews should have it, forasmuch as it is nowhere 
mentioned that such a law was made in their fa- 

' L. I. ft', de Olfic. ejus cui mandata est Jurisd. 
" Huber. Diss. 1. i. p. 1 1, 12. 


I readily acknowledge that the cognisance of 
criminal causes belonged to none among the Ro- 
mans unless granted them by some special law, or 
by the constitution of the prince. And I hope to 
make it fully appear, when I come to lay down the 
reasons why I believe the Jews did retain among 
them the power of trying and executing in capital 
causes, that it is highly probable at least that this 
power was granted them by the express constitution 
of the Roman emperors. 

A third argument taken from the civil law is, 
that merum imperium (or the power of sitting in 
judgment on and executing criminals) was with the 
presidents alone in those provinces over which they 
were placed^. 

That the cognisance of criminal as well as civil 
causes was with the president of every province I 
have already acknowledged ; but to assert that it 
was with him alone, is taking the thing in dispute 
for granted. I am very sure the laws referred toy 
say no such thing ; and if they did, what would be 
the consequence ? This argument would prove far 
more than the persons who make use of it intend. 
They acknowledge that the power of inflicting lesser 
punishments, such as scourging and the like, was 
lodged in Jewish magistrates ^ : but how could this 
be, if the cognisance of all criminal causes was solely 
in the president ? Merum imperium includes the 
hearing and determining all sorts of crimes, and in- 
flicting lesser as well as greater punishments % and 

^ Huber. ibid. p. 13. > L. 6. §. 8. ff. de Offic. Praesidis ; 

1. 4. ff. eodem ; 1. 3. V. 13. fF. eod. ^ Huber. Diss. 1. i. 

p. 13, 35-38. Lardner's Cred. vol. i. p. 65, 66. 151. * L. 3. 

ff. de Jurisd. 1. i. pr. §. 1—4, 13. ff. de Offic. Preef. Urbi, 1. 7. 


particularly that of scourging '\ But not the least 
part of this power could be delegated^. How then 
came the Jewish magistrates by this power ? it must 
be by some special law. If by the constitution of 
the prince, where is it mentioned that any such law 
was made in their favour ? If we have no account 
of any law whereby power was given them to exe- 
cute these lesser punishments, why may it not as 
well be supposed that the power granted them was 
to put their own laws in execution ? which, I think, 
I shall make appear was the real state of the case. 
This argument therefore, if it proves any thing, 
proves too much. If it be a proof that the Jews 
were deprived of the power of inflicting death on 
criminals because the presidents were sent into the 
province with this power, and could delegate it to 
no other, the same reason must also prove that they 
were deprived of the exercise of all punishments 
whatsoever upon criminals, even that of scourging. 
For nothing is more certain than that the presidents 
were invested with the power of punishing every 
crime, small as well as great, and that they could 
impart no share of this power to any other. Al- 
though, therefore, the Jewish magistrates should 
have been possessed of all civil jurisdiction in as full 
an extent as was delegated to the legatus procon- 
aulis, or was lodged with the praetor at Rome, they 
could punish no criminal matters whatever, nor order 

§. 2. 1. 8. et 9. ff. de Off. Proc. 1. 10, n, i 2 ff de Off Praes. 1. 6. 
§. 2. 1. 7. et 8. pr. ff. de Poenis. '' L. 7. ff. de Poenis. 

'■ Menini imperium, quod lege datur, non posse traiisire. L. i. 
§. T. ff. de Off. ejus cui mandat. est Jurisd. Nee enim potest 
quis gladii potestalein sibi datam, vel cujus alterius coercitionis ad 
alium traiisferre. L. 6. pr. ff. de Off. Proc. 1. 70. ff. de Reg. Juris. 


a person a whipping upon any occasion, unless a 
slave, or an infamous and needy wretch, in the par- 
ticular case where an action lay for an injury ^. But 
if there be any truth in the first argument we have 
considered, the Jewish magistrates had not even 
imperium mixtum, or the power of judging civil af- 
fairs, in its full extent. For there it is supposed they 
were in the same condition with the municipal ma- 
gistrates, who had not that imperium which is usu- 
ally joined with jurisdiction ^ ; that moderate coer- 
cion, without which there is no effectual jurisdic- 
tion ^ ; and so could not compel persons by punish- 
ments to comply with their decrees ^. It is true, 
the municipal magistrate had the power of correct- 
ing a slave moderately ^ ; but how it can be from 
hence proved that the Jewish magistrates had the 
power of scourging those who were free is very dif- 
ficult to be seen. I have already shewn that the 
municipia and provinces were so unlike, so distinct, 
that there is no arguing from the one to the other : 
but had they been never so near akin, nay, were 
we sure that the same laws reached both, the ut- 
most power that was granted to the municipal ma- 
gistrate was to correct a slave, and that only in a 
moderate degree. Now if the same law obliged the 
Jews, it is most certain they could exercise the 

^ Vid. §. lo, II. Instit. de Susp. Tutor. 1. 17. §.4, 5, 6. eti. 35. 
ff. de Injuriis, et Fam. lib. ^ L. i. fin. ff. de Off. ejus cui 

mand. est Jurisd. ^ L. 5. §. i. ff. eod. 

s L. un. pr. ff. Si quis jus dicenti non obtemp. 1. 26. ff. ad 
municip. 1. 32. ff. de Injuriis. How far the municipal magistrates 
were enabled to support their jurisdiction may be seen in Voet. iu 
Pand. tit. de Jurisd. §. 43. et Vinnius de Jurisd. c. 7. 

*' L. 12. ff. de Jurisd. 


scourge upon none but slaves. This therefore de- 
monstrates the very contrary to that which it is 
brought to prove. But, adds the author of this ar- 
gument, the punishment of scourging was, by the 
custom of the Jews, inflicted on freemen, and was 
esteemed a moderate punishment, designed for the 
amendment of the transgressor. Therefore, without 
all doubt, this power of chastising persons of their 
own nation with scourges and clubs was left to 
them ' ; that is, in other words, without all doubt 
the Jews were governed by their own laws, and not 
by the Roman law. Thus is this gentleman insen- 
sibly led, by his own way of reasoning, to give up 
his cause. 

I am fully persuaded that the law referred to, 
i. e. 1. 12. ff. de Jurisd, was not extant at the time 
Judaea was made a province. It is well known, that 
at that time the life of a slave was had in small 
account among the Romans ; so that every master 
might kill his slave as he pleased, with impunity ^ ; 
and slaves were put upon a level with cattle ^ The 
'prcEfectus vigilum, an officer appointed by Augustus 
to command the night-guard, had not the power to 
inflict death on a freeman "" ; yet we read that he 

' Huber. Dissert. 1. t. p. 38. 

•^ §. I. Instit. de his qui sui vel alieiii juris, 1. 1. §. i. ff. eod. Se- 
neca deBenefic. 1. 3. c. 23. Nee indignata est ab his se vitam ac- 
cepisse, in quos vitae necisque potestatem habuisset. Vid. de de- 
mentia, 1. I. c. 18. Ter. And. act. 1. seen. 2. Plant. Asinar. act. 3. 
seen. 2. 

' Ut igilur apparet, servis exaequat quadrupedes, quae peeuduni 
nuniero sunt. L. 2. §. 2. ff. ad Leg. Aquil. 1. 38. §. 2, 3. ff. ad 
^'.dilit. Edict. 

"' L. I, 2, 3. ff. de Off. Praef. Vigil, et Voet. Com. cod. 


put a slave to death". By the Petronian law, which 
was made in the time of the emperor Nero°, masters 
were forbid to deliver up their servants to fight with 
the beasts, unless the cause was first heard, and the 
servant condemned thereto by the judge p. Adrian 
is the first emperor we read of in the Roman lawi 
who was touched with humanity towards servants. 
He banished Umbricia, a Roman matron, for five 
years, because she treated her maids most cruelly 
for the slightest faults'". And Spartian says he for- 
bad that slaves should be killed by their masters, 
and commanded that they should be condemned by 
the judges, if they had done any thing worthy of 
deaths Afterwards Antoninus Pius subjected those 
who killed their slaves to the penalties of the law 
against murder*; and if, upon complaint, it was at 
any time found that servants were inhumanly and 
barbarously dealt by, ordered that they should be 
sold to other masters". From the consideration of 
these several facts, I think it is not at all likely that 

" L. 15. ff. de condictione causa data, &c. 

" Anno urb. cond. 813. anno Chrlsti 61. Vid, Gothof. in loc. 

PL. II. ff". ad Leg. Cornel, de Sicariis. 

1 We read, indeed, in Suetonius, that the emperor Claudius de- 
creed, that those servants who were exposed on the island of 
iEsculapius for cure (for it seems many sick servants were sent 
thither by their masters, with an intention to take no further care 
of them) should be free ; and if they recovered, should not re- 
turn into the dominion of their masters. And if any master chose 
rather to kill his servant than expose him, he should be deemed 
guilty of murder. In Vit. Claud, c. 25. n. 5. p. 686. 

^ L. 2. fin. ff". de his qui alieni vel sui Juris. 

* Servos a dominis occidi vetuit, eosque jussit damnari per ju- 
dices, si digni essent. Vid. Schulting. Jurisprud. Vet. p. 29. n. 8. 

^ §. 2. Instit. de his qui alien, vel sui Juris, 1. i. §. 2. ff". eod. 

" L. 2. ff". eod. 


a law, which is so gentle towards slaves as not to 
permit any more than a moderate correction of them 
by the municipal magistrates, should be of so high a 
date as the reign of Augustus. Most probably it 
was made in or after the time of Adrian. 


An answer to the principal argument taken Ji-om the New 

I PROCEED now to the second sort of arguments 
used to prove that the Jews were deprived of the 
power of inflicting death on criminals ; and they are 
taken from certain passages of the New Testament. 
The first, and most plausible of all, is that saying of 
the Jews to Pilate, It is not lawful for us to put 
any man to deaths. This is represented as an ample 
acknowledgment of the Jews themselves, that they 
had not at this time the jDower of inflicting death on 
criminals y. 

Should I to this oppose the saying of Tertullus 
the orator concerning Paul, Whom we took, and 
ivould have judged according to our law. But the 
chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great 
violence took him out of our hands ^ ; or should I 
reply to it in the same manner as some have done 
to this saying of Tertullus, " It is not easy to say 

** what we are to understand by these words' 

" Indeed I think there is but little regard to be had 
" to what Tertullus says ^ ;" though at the same 
time it is very observable that the high priest and 

^ John xviii. 31. v Huber. Dissert. 1. t. c. 3. p. 14, 15. 

Lardner's Credib. vol. i.e. 2. p. 83. '^ Acts xxiv. 6, 7. 

' Lardner's Cred. vol. i, p. 129. '° Ibid. p. 131. Vid. Huber. 

Diss. 1. I. c. 5. p. 24, 25. 


elders of the Jewish nation assented to the truth of 
what Tertullus said, and affirmed that things were 
as he had represented them ^ ; or should I express 
myself as a learned gentleman has done concerning 
those words of the Jews to our Saviour, We never 
were in hondage to (my man^, " There is no relying 
" upon the words of such men as these^," I think 
these gentlemen could have nothing to object. If 
the Jews are inconsistent with themselves, or not 
the strictest adherers to truth in their assertions, 
have not I the same liberty lo suppose them guilty 
of varying from the truth in the saying now before 
us, as others have in such sayings of theirs as they 
apprehend contradictory to this ? 

However, there is not the least occasion for such 
answers as these. It sufficiently appears from the 
context itself, that the meaning of this saying of the 
Jews could not be that they w^ere by the Romans 
deprived of the liberty of judging men by their law, 
and putting them to death. It is remarkable, that 
as Pilate says to the Jews in the words immedi- 
ately before, Tahe ye him, and judge him accord- 
ing to your laic; so the evangelist adds, in the 
words immediately following, that the saying of 
Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying 
what death he shoidd die. Our blessed Lord had 
not only prophesied that he should die a violent 
death ^, but had named the manner of his death, 
which was crucifixion ; and that, in order hereunto, 
he should be betrayed into the hands of the chief 
priests and Scribes, who should pronounce him wor- 

•^ Acts xxiv. I — 9. •' John viii. 33. ^ Lard. Cred. vol. i. 
p. 93. f Matt. xvii. 22, 23. Mark ix. 31. 

K 2 


thy of death, and then deliver him to the GentilesS^. 
The evangelist John expressly observes, that by the 
phrase of his being lifted uj), our Lord signified 
what death he shoidd die"". He in this place re- 
marks the fulfilment hereof, and rests it upon the 
Jews refusing to judge and punish our Saviour ac- 
cording to their law, as Pilate directed them. Pilate 
said, Take ye him, and judge him according to 
your law. This offer the Jews reject, in saying, It 
is not lawful for us to put any man to death. Then 
the evangelist remarks. That the saying of Jesus 
might he fulfilled, which he sjmke, signifying what 
death he shoidd die. It so fell out, through the 
overruling providence of God, that the Jews thought 
proper to refuse the trial of our Saviour, and per- 
sisted herein, although Pilate expressly referred it 
to them ; and this was the true occasion of the ful- 
filment of our Lord's prophecy. For had he been 
judicially tiied and condemned by the Jews, he had 
not been crucified. The law of Moses knew no such 
punishment. He might have been stoned, or stran- 
gled, or burnt, or put to deatli by the sword', ac- 
cording as the crime was for which he was con- 
demned ; but he could not have been crucified. 

Taking these words, therefore, as they stand con- 
nected with the context, they are so far from prov- 
ing that the Romans had deprived the Jews of the 
power of inflicting death on criminals, that they 
shew the contrary, and plainly imply, that it was in 

B Matt. XX. 18, 19. The Son of man shnll be betrayed unto the 
chief priests and unto the Scribes, and they shall condemn him to 
death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles, to mock, and to 
scourge, and to crucify him. Ch. xxvi. 2. Luke xxiv. 6, 7. 

'' John xii. 32, 33. ' Vid. Mishna Sanhed. c. 7. 


their option whether they would try Jesus them- 
selves, or deliver him to be tried by the governor. 
For their answer is most evidently a refusal of the 
governor's offer, referring Jesus to be tried by them- 
selves ; and by this refusal of theirs came to pass 
the fulfilment of our Saviour's prophecy. If we in- 
terpret the words in any other way, we destroy the 
connection, and make little or no sense of what goes 
before, or else of what follows after. Would Pilate 
say to the Jews, Take ye him, and judge him ac- 
cording to your law, if they had not the power to 
inflict the penalty their law prescribed ? This would 
be mere mockery. And indeed so it is understood 
by some '^ ; as though Pilate in these words, by a 
severe sarcasm, put the Jews in mind of the power 
they had lost. But how then will the latter sen- 
tence cohere, that the saying oj" Jesus might be ful- 
filled, &c. ? 

Let us take it for granted that Pilate makes him- 
self merry with the impotence of the Jewish nation 
when he bids them take Jesus, and judge him 
according to their law. The answer of the Jews 
then, we must suppose, is a serious reply hereto : 
" Why do you taunt us with our want of power ? 
*' You well know that you Romans have by force 
" deprived us of our judicatories in all capital causes, 
" and made it unlawful for us to put any man to 
" death." In this case how will follow what is 
added by the evangelist, that the saying oj" Jesus 
might he fulfilled, signijyitig what death he should 
die P Does the fulfilment depend upon this answer 
of the Jews ? Not in the least. Do they hereby re- 

^ Scaliger. Vid. Huber. Dissert. I. i. c, 3. p. 15. 
K 3 


fuse any thing which it was in their power not to 
have refused ? No. Do they hereby voluntarily give 
up Jesus into the hands of the Gentiles to be judged 
by them, when they might have judged him them- 
selves? On the contrary, they declare that it was 
not in their power to inflict death on him or on any 
man ; and therefore that they were constrained and 
forced to deliver him to the Gentiles, in order to his 
being judged and punished. The fulfilment of the 
prophecy, therefore, does not at all depend upon the 
reply made by the Jews to Pilate, but upon the hard 
condition the Romans had laid upon them in taking 
from them the use of their own laws. The evange- 
list John plainly rests the fulfilment of the prophecy 
upon the answer which the Jews make to Pilate ; 
but this interpretation rests it upon a circumstance 
as well known before the answer was made as after. 
So that in truth it bears no manner of relation to 
the answer, nor has any connection with it. 

Let us, however, proceed one step further, and 
take it for granted that the apostle does not mean 
that the fulfilment of the prophecy had any relation 
to the answer made by the Jews, but only to the 
well-known circumstance of that time, referred to 
or signified by this answer, viz. that the Romans 
had deprived the Jews of the power of inflicting 
death upon criminals. What will be the conse- 
quence ? In truth, that the prediction, which relates 
the manner of our Lord's death, was no prophecy. 
For if it was the stated course of things at that time 
that the Jews could put no man to death, but were 
obliged to deliver uj) every one, whom they esteemed 
a malefactor deserving of death, to the Roman go- 
vernor, to be punished by him, wherein lay the difl[i- 


culty of foreseeing this ? It must be observed, that 
we are speaking now of the prophecy only, so far as 
it related the manner of our Lord's death. For it 
is the fulfilment of this in particular that the apostle 
John remarks. After our Lord had foretold that he 
should be delivered into the hands of the chief priests 
and Scribes, and they should condemn him to death ', 
if it was the known fixed method for them to deliver 
up malefactors to the governor, and it was the con- 
stant practice of the Romans to crucify all criminals 
of a low and mean condition, as it is acknowledged 
to have been™, what could there be remarkable in 
the manner of his death ? Was it any other than 
such, which those who were of the condition he was 
pleased to appear in, when taken and condemned by 
the Jewish rulers, had reason to expect ? 

What then is the meaning of the Jews, when they 
say, It is not lauifid for us to put any man to 
death f I have already shewn from the context that 
these words contain a refusal of the offer made them 
by Pilate, that they should take and judge Jesus ac- 
cording to their own law. Something more there- 
fore must be understood than what is expressed; 
and nothing, I think, can so reasonably be supplied 
to make the sense full, as that which regards the 
time when the words were spoken, being the first 
day of the passover week, and the preparation for 
the sabbath : It is not lawful for us to put any 
man to death this holy festival''. This is the con- 

' Mark x. 33. '^ Huber. Dissert. 1. i. c. 3. §. 3. p, 16. 

" 2a/3SaTo'v ea-riv, qvk e^eff-ri a-oi dpai tov Kpa^j^ccrov. Joan. v. lo. 

I would ask any, whether, if the first words, 2a/3/3aTov ia-rt, were 

left out, they could possibly misunderstand the place, and whether 

these words might not most easily be understood from the con- 

K 4 


struction put on the words by St. Augustine », Cy- 
ril p, and others of the ancients*!. And this agrees 
exactly with the rule laid down in the Talmud. 
The Mishna says expressly that capital causes, in 
which the criminal was condemned, were always to 

text. The words wao-^a ia-r), or eopr-^ ia-n, are here left out, but 
are most easily supplied from the context j for in the eighteenth 
verse it is said that they themselves entered not into the judg- 
ment-hall, lest they should be defiled ; but that they might eat the 
passover. Pilate, who had been now some years governor, could 
not but be acquainted with their customs, and no doubt under- 
stood them as fully as if they had said, 'S.a^^a.iov ia-Tiv r^iMv ovk 
t^eari aicoKTiTvat ovliva,. The first day of the passover week is called 
a sabbath. Lev. xxiii. 1 1. (Vid. Lightfoot, vol. i. p. 222. and 
vol. 2. p. 184.) When they were forbad to do any servile work- 
on this day, was it lawful for them to execute a criminal ? or 
would they, who esteemed it a breach of the sabbath to heal a 
person on that day, allow the taking away of life on it? If there 
be any truth in the rule laid down by the Jewish doctors, that 
those who accused or were witnesses against a man for any capital 
crime were obliged first to warn him that what he was commit- 
ting laid him open to the punishment of death, (vid. Selden. de 
Syned. 1. 2. c. 13. §. 2.) possibly this might be the reason why 
the Jews added those words, ^d^^ativ (crn, when they spake to 
the man who carried his bed, as being a necessary part of the 
form of premonition required to his conviction. But when the 
Jews spake to Pilate there was no need of their being thus ex- 
plicit. It is observable that Herod kept Peter in prison till the 
passover was past. Acts xii. 4. And that it was esteemed an ho- 
nour due to great festivals to omit the punishment of criminals on 
such days is evident from Philo in Flac. p. 976-7. 'E5 Xeyeiv, oti tl 

Koi y.vfla rjirav iiixapT7]K0Tei, i,}(f)eiXe tov Kaiplv al^effBt)^ tui rif/.tcptcc<; l-nep- 

6ta9cci, &c. "If they had been never so guilty, he ought in reverence 
" to the season to have delayed their punishment." Doubtless it 
was in honour of the passover that the Roman governor was wont 
to release unto the Jews a prisoner, whomsoever they desired. 

° Tractat. 1 14. in Joan. p L. 12. in Joan. c. vi. 

'' Chrysost. Horn. 82. in .Joan. Beda in cap. xviii. Joan. 


be finished on the day after the trial began : for 
which reason these trials were never to begin the 
day before the sabbath, or the day before a festival"". 
The gloss says, for otherwise the decision of the 
judgment would be on the sabbath ; but it is not 
lawful to prolong the day of one that is condemned 
to die, (i. e. it is not lawful to defer his execution to 
another day,) nor can capital punishments be in- 
flicted on him the same day, because of the sab- 
bath ^ : and Maimonides says, if a person was ac- 
cused of a capital crime on the day before the sab- 
bath, they kept him in custody to the first day of 
the week, and then tried him*. 

In answer to this, it is said, that some malefac- 
tors were reserved to the time of their great feasts, 
that the execution might be the more public " : and 
it is true the Mishna does say, that the stubborn 
elder, who refused to obey the decrees of the great 
sanhedrim, was to be kept in custody till one of the 
three great feasts, and during the feast to be put to 
death, that all the people might hear and fear, and 
do no more presumptuously^. I might possibly have 
said that this was a singular case, and an exception 
to a general rule, were it not that the Jewish mas- 
ters from a parity of reason conclude the same thing 
of three other cases, which are those of the rebel- 
lious son, the enticer to idolatry, and the false wit- 
ness. And these are the only malefactors, mentioned 
by Jewish writers, who were to be reserved to one 

"■ In Sanhed. c. 4. §. i. fin. ^ Cocceii duo tituli Talmud, 

p. 31. * Halac Sanhed. c. 11. Vid. Seld. de Syned. I. 2. 

c. lo. §. 2. p. 1433, &c. 13. §. I. p. 1496. " Huber. Dissert. 

1. I.e. 3. §. 2. p. 15. pr. " In Sanhed. c. 10, §. 4. Vid. 

Lightfoot, vol. I. p. 968. fin. 


of the three great feasts to be then punished y. How- 
ever, it seems not probable to me that even these 
criminals were to be executed on the principal feast- 
days, which were well nigh as strictly observed as 
their sabbaths; but on Moedkaton% some lesser ho- 
lydays, such as in their festival weeks came be- 
tween the first and the last days of the solemnity ^ 
For the first and the last days were by divine ap- 
pointment to be kept like their sabbaths, and no 
servile work was to be done therein^. But be that 
as it will, it is certain our Saviour was not accused 
of any of those four crimes. 

The day on which our Lord was put to death 
was the first day of the passover week, and the fif- 
teenth day of the month. It was unlawful there- 
fore for them to try him on the fourteenth, or to 
put him to death on the fifteenth, and the next day 
was the sabbath. So that they must have reserved 
him in custody to the seventeenth, which was the 
first day of the week, before they could have tried 
him, and to the eighteenth before they could have 
executed him, had they proceeded according to their 
own rules. But such delays no doubt they esteemed 
dangerous, and therefore jmshed for his immediate 
execution in another way. What we read of their 
hearing witnesses, and pronouncing him guilty'^, I 

y Seidell, (le Syned. 1. 3. c. 3. §. 7, 8. p. 1636-7. 

''- Vid. Lightfoot, vol. i. p. 968, 969. the word hT\ made use 
of here by the Mishna signifies the whole lime of the solemnity, 
and so does the word €o/)t»; both in the Gospels and in Josephus. 
Vid. Grot, in Matt, xxvi. 5. and xxvii. 15. 

"In this particular Grotius concurs with me, in Matt. xxvi. 5. 
p. 242. b. 25. ad fin. usque. 

'' Lev. xxiii. 7, 8, 35, 36. •" Matt. xxvi. 59, 60, 61. 66. 


take to have been extra-judicial. It was not done 
with a view to put him to death by their own laws, 
and therefore they wholly neglected the rules usually 
observed by them in all capital causes. Had they 
followed those rules, they must not have sat at the 
high priest's house'', but in the temple, in the room 
Gazith^: nor must they have heard his cause by 
night ^: nor must they have tried him on the day 
before so great a festival. But, designing this as a 
mere extra-judicial affair, they had no regard to 
rules ; and having determined to take away his life 
as soon as possible, they would not keep him in cus- 
tody to the first day of the week, when they might 
have sat in judgment on him ; but were fully bent 
upon delivering him up to the Roman governor, and 
trying their interest with him to have him imme- 
diately executed. The manifest reason of this was 
their fear of the people, lest they should arise, and 
attempt a rescue*^. For this reason they had once 
resolved not to apprehend him at the feast '^ ; but 
having so fair an opportunity put into their hands 
by Judas, they departed from that resolution. How- 
ever, the same reason prevailed with them to push 
on his execution with all possible speed ; and to this 
end, I am persuaded, they placed their own crea- 
tures and dependants in great numbers near the 
praetorium, who were instant with loud voices, re- 
quiring that he might be crucified \ 

It is pretended that it was the duty of the muni- 

"^ Matt. XXVI. 57. John xviii. 24. ^ Seld. de Syned. 1. 2. 

c. 15. §. 10. p. 1558. f^ Mishna Sanhed. c. 4. §. i. prop. fin. 

Seld. de Syn. 1. 2. c. 10. §. 2. p. 

1423. g Luke xxii. 2. 

^ Matt. xxvi. 5. Mark xiv. 2. 

' Matt, xxvii. 20. Mark xv. 1 1. 


cipal magistrates to apprehend and imprison male- 
factors, to give them a hearing, and take cognisance 
of their crimes, to examine witnesses, and other le- 
gal proofs ; and if they found them guilty, to con- 
demn them as worthy of punishment, with this view, 
that they should send them to the president of the 
province loaded with this previous judgment and 
condemnation of theirs : and although the president 
Avas obliged to hear the whole cause over again, yet 
it is supposed he paid a favourajjle regard to the re- 
presentation of these magistrates, and generally con- 
curred with them in his sentence. Now because it 
is said in the Gospels that our Saviour was first ex- 
amined and condemned in the Jewish council, then 
delivered by them to the Roman governor, who again 
tried and condemned him, it is taken for granted 
that this is a case parallel with the former, and 
founded upon the same part of the Roman law*^. 
But the whole of this is without any foundation. 
What is said of the municipal magistrates is not 
proved by the law alleged ^ : and if it were, how does 
it thence follow that in our Saviour's time the ma- 
gistrates of provinces were bound to do the same 
with them ? Why is it not first shewn that the mu- 
nicipia and provinces were in those early days go- 
verned by the same laws ? This I take to be beyond 
the power of man. Notwithstanding, in the present 

^ Huber. Dissert. 1. i. c. 4. §. 2, 3, 4. p. 19, 20, 21. Lard. 
Cred. vol. i. p. 97. 144. 

' L. 6. IT. de Custod. et Exhib. Reoruni. This law makes not 
out the thing for which it is brought, unless it be first shewn that 
the Irenarchs there mentioned were duumviri, or municipal ma- 
gistrates, which I am persuaded will be a difficult task. 


dispute, this is always taken for a thing certain, and 
arguments are founded upon it'". But were we to 
allow this also, it will appear evident to any one, 
who examines the history of our Saviour's trial, that 
there is little similitude between the two cases. 

The previous trial and condemnation before the 
supposed municipal magistrates were for the same 
crimes contained in the eulogium or accusation sent 
to the Roman governor, for which very crimes the 
malefactor was tried over again by the governor. 
But in our Saviour's qase the crimes were quite dif- 
ferent". Whilst our Lord is before the Jewish 
council, he is accused of having said that he would 
destroy the temple, and huild it again in three 
days ° : and at length, being questioned Upon oath 
by the high priest, is, from the answer he made, 
condemned for blasphemy. But not a word is said 
before them of his sedition or treason. On the other 
hand, when he is brought before Pilate, the Jewish 
magistrates accuse him of sedition and treason?. 
Indeed, when they found that Pilate cleared him of 
those crimes, they added. We have a law, and hy 

■^ Huber, through his whole Dissertation, takes it for granted 
that the state of the Roman government, with regard to the pro- 
vinces, was the same in the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius as it 
was after the law of Antoninus Caracalla, p. 18, ig. He quotes 
the poet Ausonius as describing the magistrates of municipia with- 
out the power of inflicting death. This poet lived at the latter 
end of the fourth century, above a hundred and fifty years after 
the whole Roman empire was taken into the citizenship of Rome, 
and there was no longer any distinction between municipia and 
other cities. 

" Vid. Grot, in Matt, xxvii. 11, " Mark xiv. 58. Matt. xxvi.6i. 

P Luke xxiv. i — 5. particularly, that it was unlawful to pay 
tribute to Csesar. 


oiir law he ought to die, because he made himself 
the Son of God. But this was so far from moving 
Pilate to condemn him, that it rather indined him 
to release him ^ : and it is certain that what the 
Jews called blasphemy was esteemed no crime 
among the Romans, and an accusation of this kind 
at a Roman tribunal must have been without effect. 
What prevailed with Pilate at length to give him 
up to their importunate solicitations was that saying 
of theirs, If thou let this man go, thou art not Cce- 
saf s friend I which plainly implied a threatening 
that they Avould accuse him to Caesar of remissness 
in his duty. The argument they use with Pilate is 
in brief this : " Though you, sir, judge not this man 
" guilty of the sedition and treason laid to his 
" charge, yet we know him to be deserving of death 
" by our law ; and if you will not gratify our de- 
" sire in punishing him with death, we shall accuse 
" you to Tiberius Caesar as greatly negligent in sup- 
" pressing sedition :" and it is well known that Ti- 
berius was of a suspicious, jealous nature*", and very 
ready to hearken to such complaints. This was an 
argument Pilate could not withstand; therefore 
yielded to their importunity, and condemned him as 
guilty of the sedition and treason they had accused 
him of % which appeared by the title he put over his 


An answer to two other arguments taken from the New 

A SECOND argument is taken from those words of 

'i John xix. 7 — 12. " Vid. Grot, in Joan, xix, 13. 

» Vid. Huber. Diss. 1. i.e. 3. §. 3. p. 16. 


Pilate to our Saviour, Knowest thou not that I have 
power to crucify thee, and power to release thee^ f 
Which words are said clearly and expressly to de- 
clare that Pilate was the only and supreme judge, 
and that there was no other magistrate to whom it 
was granted by law to determine this capital cause, 
by pronouncing sentence of absolution or condem- 

That Pilate was supreme judge under the em- 
peror, and under the governor of Syria, not in this 
case only, but in every other case which happened 
within the province of Judaea, I readily grant ; but 
I cannot perceive the least intimation that he was 
the only judge. If the Jewish magistrates had tried 
our Saviour with an intention to execute him them- 
selves, there is not the least doubt but Pilate could 
have sent a prohibition, stopped their proceedings, 
called the cause before himself, and released him. 
But it cannot follow from hence that they had no 
power to condemn and execute malefactors when 
the governor did not think fit to interpose. Inferior 
courts may certainly be said to have a power, 
though they are under the control of superior ones. 
It is well known that the Romans punished offen- 
ders in federate cities'^, and that the presidents of 
provinces exercised authority over kings themselves >": 
does it hence follow that these had not jus gladii^ 
the power of trying and executing criminals ? 

There is another passage in the New Testament 
which I find interpreted this way ; and that is in 

t John xix. lo. " Huber, Dissert. 1. i.e. 3. §. 4. p. 16. 

Vid. Lardner's Cred. vol. i. p. 83. ^ L. 7. ff. de Captiv. 

>' Jos. Antiq. 1. 19. c. 8. 


the case of the woman taken in adultery. The Jews 
say to our Lord, 3Ioses in the law commanded, that 
such should he stoned : but what say est thou ? It 
is added, This they said, tempting him, that they 
might have to accuse him^ : to accuse him before 
the Roman governor, if he determined that she 
ought to be stoned ; because, if the Jews were pro- 
hibited the execution of their own laws in capital 
cases, this might be interpreted an exciting them to 
rebellion : and if he determined that she ought not 
to be stoned, to accuse him of derogating from the 
law of Moses, and thereby lessen his credit among 
the people"^. 

This, it must be owned, when persons are pre- 
possessed with the notion that the Romans had de- 
prived the Jews of the power of inflicting capital 
punishments, seems an interpretation natural enough. 
But here is not one word said upon which to ground 
this notion : and it is probable the only snare here 
laid for our Saviour was, to get from him something 
in derogation of the law of Moses. He had often 
preached the doctrine of forgiveness in the strongest 
terms, even in such cases wherein the law of Moses 
allowed the same evils to be inflicted by the judge 
on the injurious person as had been done to the in- 
jured^. The Pharisees might hence possibly sus- 
pect that our Lord would determine absolutely 
against the execution of the penalties enjoined in 
the law of Moses, and hope to accuse him hereof 
before the magistrate, as well as raise a spirit in the 
people against him. 

' John viii. 5, 6. " Grot, in Joan. viii. 6. Lard. Cred. vol. i . 

p. 68, 69, 70. ^ Matt. V. 38, &c. 



The Romans frequently indulged the nations they con- 
quered in the use of their own laws, eveti in capital 

I PROCEED now to give the reasons which induce 
me to think that the Jews had the power of inflict- 
ing death on criminals continued to them under the 
Roman government. First, nothing is more evident 
than that many cities and some whole countries had 
granted them by the people and emperors of Rome 
the privilege of being governed by their own laws 
and their own magistrates, some in a more ample 
and full, and some in a more restrained manner. 
Several of the cities and little nations in Italy, under 
the ancient republic, chose rather to be governed by 
their own laws than to be made citizens of Rome, 
and be under the Roman laws; and it was granted 
them, as we are informed by Livy *^ and Tully 'I 
After the conquest made in the second Punic war 
the Romans permitted the Carthaginians to live ac- 

•^ Hernicorum tribus populis, Alatrinali, Verulano, Terentinati, 
quia maluerunt, quam civitatem, suae leges redditas — Anagninis, 
quique arma Romanis intulerant, civitas sine suffragii latione 
data : concilia connubiaque adempta : et magistratibus, praeter- 
quam sacrorum curatione, interdictum. Lib. 9. c. 43, prop. fin. 
Praenestinis militibus senatus Ronianus duplex stipendium et 
quinquennii militiae vacationem decrevit. Civitate quum dona- 
rentur ob virtutem, non mutaverunt. L. 23. c. 20, pr. Alios in 
ea fortuna haberent, ut socii esse quani cives mallent. L. 26. 
c. 24. prop. pr. 

'' In quo magna contentione Heracliensium et Neapolitanorum 
fuit, cum magna pars in iis civitatibus foederis sui libertatem ci- 
vitati anteferret. Pro Balho, c. 8. (21.) p. 597, pr. 


cording to their own laws**. The islands of Sicily ^ 
and Sardinia^, when Roman provinces, used their 
own laws. The Grecian cities both in Europe and 
Asia had their liberty and laws preserved to them 
when the Romans vanquished Philip king of Mace- 
donia '', which were restored again to the Phocae- 
enses, when their city was taken by .^milius Scau- 
rus, in the war with Antiochus ^ : for they had fallen 
off from the Romans to that king. To the Mace- 
donians, after the Romans had taken Perseus their 
king, it was granted that they should use their own 
laws, choosing their magistrates every year^. The 

*■' Ut liberi legibus suis viverent ; quas urbes, quosque agros, 
quibusque finibus ante helium teniiissent, tenerent. Livii, 1. 30. 
c. 37. "Edeo'i KOI V01/.0K; xpw^^^ '^0'? iS/oj?. Polyb. 1. 1 5- P- 7o5» ■'^' 

Aihcc<Tiv avroii; ij o-^'y/cXTjTO? Tr)v t' eXevOepiav, kcc) tov<; vo/aov?, ert 8e Trjv 
%&!/)av aicaa-av. Excerpt. Legllt. 1 42. p. 973, fill. 

^ Siculi hoc jure sunt, ut, quod civis cum cive agat, domi certet 
suis legibus. Cic. in Ver. 1. 2. c. 13, pr. 

S Diodor. Sicul. 1. 5. p. 296, a. Mixpi toS vZv airovoiAiav lotq iy- 
■Xfiiflon; a.(7a.XiVT0v ^vXa|a<, et p. 297, pr. Ate(pvKa^e tvjv i'Aevdepiav y-expt 
iZv KaB' 'fijAa<; yjpmaiv. The historian indeed tells us that neither 
Carthaginians nor Romans were able to take it from them ; but 
I think it more probable that it was the voluntar}- grant of the 

^ Omnes Graecorum civitates, quae in Europa, qua^que in Asia 
essent, libertatem ac suas leges haberent. Livii, 1. 33. c. 32, pr, 
Vid. et 1. 34. C. 22, prop. fin. 'EXe^Sf/jov? Ivdpxfiv, Koti voixok; %^(TBai 
TOK «S/o/?. Polyb. Excerpt. Leg. 9. p. 795. 

' Urbem agrosque, et suas leges restituit. Liv. 1. 37,9. et 32. 
Phocaeensibus et ager quam ante bellum habuerunt, redditus ; et 
ut legibus antiquis uterentur, permissum. L.38. c. 39. 'AWSw/cav 

Se K<xi ^WKatfiJai to icaTpiOv iroKiTfVjjt.a, kou tvjv %wpav %iv kcu TtpoTepov fl^ov. 

l^olyb. Excerpt. Legat. 36. p. 844, fin. 

^ Omnium primum liberos esse placebat Macedonas atque II- 
lyrios. Liv. 1. 45. c. 18. et 22. Habentes urbes easdem agrosque. 


Illyrians ^ Galatians "\ and Phrygians " had the 
same liberty. In Syria, Antioch", Gaza, Joppa, 
Dora, Caesarea p, Seleucia i, Tyre, and Sidon \ were 
free cities, with many other places. In a word, 
there were some provinces, the greatest part of 
which, if not the whole, were allowed to live accord- 
ing to their own laws ^. And there was scarce any 
one province in which there were not large districts 
and many cities which had the same liberty. Now 
if it was so common a thing with the Romans to 
grant a conquered people the choice of their own 
magistrates, and the use of their own laws, why may 
it not be thought that this was allowed by them in 
Judaea ? why must we suppose that they were placed 
in a worse condition than so great a number of other 
countries * ? That the Carthaginians, after the second 

utentes legibus suis, anmios creantes magistratus, c. 29. TZv It 
8eK« irpea-^euv ii< 'Puia,vji; a(j>iKOi/.ivi}v, Ma^ceSoV* f^ev aTreSw/ce tviv %iipa.v KoiX 
tac, 7ro'?ve(? eXivbepac, okeTv ko.) avroi/oi/.ov<;. Plut. in iEmil. p. 270, B. 

' Liv. 1. 45. c. 26. Senatum popiilumque Romanum lUyrios 
esse liberos jubere. 

'" To?? -napa. ruv e'/c t^? 'Aaiaq TaKxruu '^pca^vTotli; (Twex^prjo-ixv tvjv 
aiiTcvofA,lav (/.ivovaiv tv rati; lbla,ii; Kcx-TOiKiai^, Koi jm] <rTparevo[^(i/oti eKrot; 

tZv /S/av opcov. Polyb. Excerpt. Leg. 102. 

" (ppvyiav avrovoy.ov i^eByJKev, scil. ij ^ovXr,, Appian. de Bell. 

Mithr. p. 208, D. 

° Joan. Malala Chron. 1. 9. p. 278, pr. 

P Jos. Antiq. 1. 14. c. 4. §. 4, fin. 

^ Strabo, 1. 16. p. 751, D. Eutrop. 1. 6. c. 14. p. 249. 

■^ Jos. Antiq. 1. 15. c. 4. §. i, fin. Vid. et Noris. Epoch. Syr. 
Mac. Diss. 5. c. 3. Spanh. Orb. Rom. p. 330 — i. 

* Such as Sicily, Sardinia, and some time possibly Achaia, 
Asia, Cyprus. 

^ The Jews were in hopes that an argument of this kind would 
prevail even with Caligula himself not to violate their laws ; *H 
Tcepl rov j/.)} itdvTtov, ko.) tuv iv fa-)(^ccT ioi^ fOvSv, 0T5 Ter-^pyjTai to. TtdcTpiac, 
tXctrrov iveyKoffdai. Philo de Legat. ad Caium, p. 1026, E. 
L 2 


Punic war, had the power of executing their own 
laws, even where the punishments were capital, I 
believe no learned man ever yet doubted ; or that 
the Grecians had that power after the war with 
Piiih'p, What hinders then from concluding the 
same with regard to all those places to which the 
Romans granted their own magistrates and their 
own laws ? when the very same phrases are used by 
classic writers in speaking of the one, as are made 
use of by them when speaking of the other, what 
should prevent our understanding them in the same 
sense ? or let it be shewn when these words began 
to vary their signification. I would also know if the 
Macedonian magistrates had not the power of in- 
flicting corporal punishments and death upon male- 
factors, how it was possible to preserve the peace of 
that country when the Roman governor, who was 
among them, was without that power, Cicero, if I 
mistake him not, expressly says that such governors 
were sent thither in his time, and that the peace of 
the province was kept by the power it had within 
itself, i. e. by the vigilance of the magistrates in exe- 
cuting their own laws ". 

Some countries seem to have been almost wholly 
exempted from the rods and the axes, i. e. from the 
power of the governor who was sent into the pro- 
vince. Thus, for instance, of Massilia, (now called 
Marseilles,) and of all the places subject to it, Strabo 

" Atque banc Macedonian!, douiitis jam gentibus finitiniis, 
barbariaque compressa, pacatam ipsam per se, et quietam, tenui 
jirifisidio, atque exigua manu, etiam sitie imperlo, per legates no- 
mine ipso popiili Romani tuebamur : quae nunc consulari imperio, 
atque exercitu ita vexala est, &c. De Prov. Consular, c. 3. prop, 
pr. p. 589, (in. 


says, that they were not obliged to obey the go- 
vernors sent into the province ^. He says the same 
thing of Nemausus, (now called Nismes,) together 
with the twenty-four towns under it^. Both these 
places were in the province of Gallia Narbonensis '. 
What Strabo asserts of these parts of Gaul was no 
doubt true also of the Lacedaemonians ; of whom 
Tully affirms, that they had lived to his time more 
than seven hundred years without having changed 
their laws ^. Polybius also says that Lycurgus, by 
the laws he gave them, preserved liberty to the 
Lacedsemonians longer than it had been secured to 
any other people of whom he had the knowledge ^ : 
and Apollonius calls them the freest of the Grecians'^. 
The Rhodians I am persuaded were favoured with 

yet/y/jBeia-ai; dy.apTiai, ii/.eTpta<Tav, [A(i/.v'fj[A.€V0i t^^ (piXtaq, kcu t-/))/ avroi/o- 
y.tav i<pvXa,^av, ^v i^cip)(yjt; e*%ev r) i:oKi<;, ooare (mi imaKOveiv tSv elq r^v 
vi:a.px'iav nei^TtoiA-evcov aTpctTriySv. 1. 4. p. 181, B. Vid. et Cic, pro 
Flacco, c. 26. (63) p. 492. Neque vero te, Massilia, prsetereo, — 
cujiis ego civitatis disciplinam atque gravitatem non solum Grse- 
cise, sed hand scio an cunctis gentibus anteponendam jure dicam: 
quae — sic optimatum consilio gubernatur, ut omnes ejus instituta 
laudare facilius possint, quam aeniulari. 

y ^loc Se toSto (liiV vTio to<V t(p(i<j'V(x<y\/.a(7i (for SO vuidoubtedly it 
ought to be read, and not Trpdyi/.aa-i) t5v ck t^? 'PwiJf,Yj<; aTpaTriyZu 
i(ni TO edvoi; Tovro, 1. 4- p- 1875 A. 

^ Vid. Strabo, 1. 4. p. 178, B. et p. 189, C, TaSxa //.iv tn^ep tZv 

yei/.QfA,evuv tvjv NapSwwTjv i-rciKpa/reiav Xeycfxev, 

^ Lacedsemonii soli toto orbe terrarum septingentos jam annos 
aniplius unis moribus et nunquam mutatis legibus vivunt. Pro 
Flacco, c. 26. (63. pr.) p. 492. 

^ L. 6. c. 1. p. 459. Vid. et Slrab. 1. 8. p. 376, fin. Ka) hereXe- 
(7av rriv avroyoy.ia,v (pyXaTTOvie^. 

"^ 'EAeuflejjwTaTo* {/.tv yap rSv 'EXX-^i/uv ela), (/.ovoi 8' vz'qKOOt roZ ev 
^viA.j3ovX(vovro<;. In Vit. Apollon. 1. 6. C. lO. p. 292. C. T**"? t^v iXev- 
Otpiav aa-Kovatv, D. 

L 3 


a like exemption ^ : and likewise the Lycians, whose 
council was composed of members sent from twenty- 
three cities ; in which council their magistrates were 
chosen, and their judicatories appointed. Here also 
they had been used to consult of peace and war; 
but this privilege the Romans took from them, so 
that for the future they were not to treat of peace 
and war, unless by their permission or for their ad- 
vantage. Strabo adds that they managed this go- 
vernment of theirs so well, that they remained al- 
ways free under the Romans to his time ^. To these 
I might add the cities of Tarsus ^and Byzantium, 
of which last Tully speaks when he accuses Piso of 
exercising jurisdiction in a free city contrary to the 
Roman laws ^. There is no one, I think, can doubt 
whether these people had the power of putting per- 
sons subject to them to death in the execution of 
their own laws. How otherwise could it be said 
with any propriety, that they were not bound to 
obey the governors sent into the province ? For if 
they themselves had not the power of inflicting cor- 
poral punishments and death, but the governor of 
the province had, most certainly they were bound to 
obey him, and that under the severest penalties : or 

•^ Vid. Liv. 1. 38. c. 39. 1. 45. c. 20 — 25. et Epit. 46. Cic. ad 
Quint. Fratr, 1. i. ep. i. c. 11. p. 1021, fin. ad famil. 1. 12. c. 14. 
p. 815, pr. 

^ L. 14. p. 664, fin. 665, pr. Ovrui S' €vyofACiV[Aivoti; avToic;, o-we'jSrj 
itctpcc 'PufMiioiq iX(v6tpoi(; haTeXe<Tat. 

f Julius Caesar gave to the citizens of Tarsus xw/iav, vif^ov^, rl(A.-tiv, 
i^ovaiav Toi! TtoTafj^oZ, &c. Dio Chrys. Orat. 34. p. 415, D. Vid. et 
Dio. Cassii 1. 47. p. 342, A. 

B Oniitto jurisdictionem in libera civitate contra leges senatus- 
que consulta. De Prov. Co7isul. c. 3, fin. p. 590, a. Oppidum By- 
zantium liberae conditionis. Plin. 1. 4. c. 1 1. p. 442, pr. 


with what truth could Strabo relate that the Ly- 
cians were left free by the Romans, excepting only 
in the making peace and war, if at the same time 
the Romans took from them the execution of the 
punishments which their laws prescribed ? most cer- 
tainly that ought also to have been excepted. For 
what greater infringement of their liberty could they 
have suffered ? On the contrary, though he tells us 
that in their convention or council they elected their 
magistrates and appointed their judicatories, he adds 
no limitation, no restriction whatever to their power 
in condemning and punishing of criminals^. We 

'^ To the places already mentioned I might have added the 
island of Cyprus, which, after it was reduced to a province by 
Cato, was still governed by its own laws and magistrates, as is 
most evident froni those words of Tally : Q. Volusium, tui Ti- 
berii generum, certum hominem, sed mirifice etiam abstinentem, 
misi in Cyprum, ut ibi pauculos dies esset ; ne cives Romani 
pauci, qui illic negotiantur, jus sibi dictum negarent. Nam evo- 
cari ex insula Cyprios non licet. Ad Attic. 1. 5. ep. ult. p. 906, pr. 
Volusius was sent to Cyprus to administer justice to the few Ro- 
mans that trafficked there 3 for the Cyprians, being wholly under 
their own laws and their own administration, had no need of a 
Roman magistrate among them. They had also this further pri- 
vilege, that they could not be compelled upon any pretence to go 
out of their own island. Upon any differences therefore between 
Cyprians and Romans, forasmuch as the Romans could be judged 
only by their own magistrates, it was absolutely necessary a Ro- 
man judge should be sent to the island. Reflecting upon this 
passage, a doubt arises in my mind concerning the antiquity of 
that maxim of the civil law, Merum imperium non posse transire ; 
for certainly in the case before us TuUy delegated merum imperium 
to Volusius ; otherwise the Romans might still complain that 
justice was denied them : unless it be taken for granted that no 
criminal causes could happen between the Cyprians and Romans 
in that happy island. TuUy says, in the words immediately be- 
fore those I have cited, Quintum fratrem hybernis et Ciliciie prse- 
L 4 


read that both Lycians and Rhodians were after- 
wards deprived of their liberty, and the reasons 
given will serve further to explain tliis matter. 
Although to Strabo's time the Lycians were highly 
to be commended for the prudent administration of 
their republic, it was quite otherwise in the reign of 
the emperor Claudius, when they fell into dissen- 
sions and tumults, and put to death Roman citizens^ 
The Rhodians also crucified some Roman citizens'^. 

feci. Can it be doubted whether he delegated criminal jurisdic- 
tion to his brother ? I well know it is allowed by civilians, that in 
case of absence it might be done. I also know that it is a part 
of the civil law that the governor of a province should continue 
in his province, and administer justice there till the arrival of his 
successor; that he is not permitted to be absent from his pro- 
vince but in the single case of paying a vow, and even in that 
case not to lie one night out of the province under the severest 
penalty. Vid. 1. lo. ff. de Off. Proc. et 1. 15. ff. de Off. Frees. Nov. 
8. c. 9. Nov. 95. c. I. It seems not improbable to me that these 
two rules of law, that merum imperium should not be delegated, 
and that a governor should wait the arrival of his successor, grew 
up like twins together : that the latter was not necessary in the 
time of TuUy is evident from his practice ; for he left his pro- 
vince to the care of his quaestor, and affirms that the course of 
precedents was with him ; Omnium fere exemplo, ad Famil. 1. 2. 
ep. 15. et hujus rei plura exempla, ad Attic. 1. 6. ep. 6. And the 
very laws quoted by civilians to prove that criminal jurisdiction 
might be delegated in case of absence, only shew that anciently 
the presidents were wont to leave their provinces before the ar- 
rival of their successors, 1. j. ff. de Off. ejus cui mand. est Jurisd. 
1. I. §. 8. Ad Senat. Consult. Turpill. 

' Lyciis ob exitiabiles inter se discordias libertatem ademit, 

Suet. Claud. C. 25. n. 11. Tot^? t€ Avkj'oi/? a-Taa-Kzo-avrac; oiffie Koil 'Pu- 
fxalov^ tdick; ai:oKTe7vat itovXSffaro, Dio, 1. 60. p. 676, C. 

^ TSv T£ 'Polluv Trjv i'AevOepiav u(ptiX€TO, ort 'Pu[ji.aloi'(; nvai aveaKO- 
Xi'ntjo-av, Dio, 1. 60. p. 68 1, B. It was twice taken from the Cy- 
ziceni for violence offered lo tlie Romans, first by Augustus, be- 


For these reasons were they deprived of the ancient 
freedom of living according to their own laws, as 
Dion expressly informs us. They greatly abused 
the liberty granted them, and exercised their power 
on those over whom they had no authority. For 
their power extended not to Roman citizens, as we 
shall see more fully hereafter. The Lycians, split 
into parties, probably in the choice of persons to sit 
in their council, became seditious, and their quarrels 
ended in the deaths of many, particularly of several 
Roman citizens. The Rhodians acted outrageously 
against law ; for they not only put to death those 
whom they had no right to judge, but they put 
them to such a death, which, had they been Roman 
magistrates of the highest dignity, they had no au- 
thority to inflict : for it was contrary to law to 
crucify Roman citizens ^ 

Other places under the Romans had liberty of 
living according to their own laws allowed them, 
but in a more restrained manner; i.e. with more 

cause they scourged some Romans to death, Dio, 1. 54. p. 525,E. 
He a few years after restored them to their liberty again, Dio, 
1. 54. p. 537, D. It was taken away again by Tiberius, because 
they imprisoned some Romans, and finished not the temple which 
they had begun to erect for Augustus, Dio, 1. 57. p. 619, D. be- 
cause they attempted some violence on Roman citizens, Suet. Tib. 
37. 7. 17. Vid. et Aug. 47. 2. 6. for their want of care in the 
ceremonies of Augustus, to which was added the crime of violence 
against Roman citizens, Tac. Ann. 1. 4. 36. 2. 

' Quos (scil. cives Romanes) — implorantes jura libertatis et 
civitatis in crucem sustulit, Cic. in Ver. 1. i. c. 3, pr. p. 268. Cum 
videant jus civitatis illo supplicio esse mactatum, in Ver. L 4. 
c. 1 1, fin. p. 345, fin. The Rhodians notwithstanding, upon their 
repentance, and the oration which Nero made for them, were 
soon after restored to their liberty by Claudius. Suet, in Claud. 
c. 25. n. II. et in Ner. c 7. n. 8. et Tacit. Annal. 1. 12. c. 58. n.4. 


exceptions and limitations. Thus Macedonia was 
divided by them into four parts, and the Mace- 
donians were forbidden to contract marriage with 
any persons who did not inhabit in their own di- 
vision. In like manner the sale of land and houses 
was not permitted to be made to persons inhabiting 
any other division, and confined to those of their 
own. They were not suffered to work in gold and 
silver, with several other particulars "\ In Sicily, 
if a cause was depending between two persons who 
were Sicihans, and of the same city, it was to be 
tried by their own laws and judges in their own city. 
But if two Sicihans who were of different cities had 
a controversy, a judge was to be appointed by the 
Rupilian law. If a private person commenced a 
suit with a city or body corporate, or a body cor- 
porate with a private person, in case they could not 
agree that the senate either of that city to which 
the private person belonged, or that to which the 
body corporate belonged, should judge the affair, the 
senate of some other city was to be appointed. If a 
lawsuit arose between a Roman citizen and a Si- 
cilian, if the Roman citizen was plaintiff, a Sicilian 
judge was to determine the cause; if the Sicihan 
was plaintiff, a Roman judge ". 

^ In quatuor regiones dividi Macedoniam — neque connubium 
neque commercium agrorum fedificiorumque inter se placere cui- 
quam extra fines regionis suae esse, metalla qiioque auri atque ar- 
gent! non exerceri. Liv. 1. 45. c. 29. 

n Siculi hoc jure sunt, ut, quod civis cum cive agat, domi certet 
suis legibus : quod Siculus cum Siculo non ejusdem civitatis, ut 
de eo praetor judices ex P.Rupilii decreto, quod is de decern lega- 
torum sententia statuit, quam legem illi Rupiliam vocant, sor- 
tiatur. Quod privatus a populo petit, aut populus a private : 
senatus ex alicjua civitate, qui judicet, datur, cum alternie civitates 


It was usual with the Romans to send persons 
into the nations they had conquered, to determine 
what alterations should be made in their ancient 
form of government, how far they should be under 
their own laws and judges, and how far under the 
Roman law. In Sicily this affair was settled by the de- 
cree of P. Rupilius the consul, formed by the advice 
of ten persons, who were sent to him from Rome on 
purpose to assist him herein °: in Macedoria byP.jE- 
milius, assisted also by ten legati p. Pompey, when 

rejectae sunt. Quod civis Romanus a Siculo petit, Siculus judex 
datur : quod Siculus a cive Romano, civis Romanus datur, &c. 
Cic. in Ver. 1. 2. c. 13, pr. p. 297. Suis legibus, i. e. Siculis. Et- 
enim apud veteres non Romano tantum jure, sed et suas cujusque 
civitatis legibus agebatur. Vid. Asconii notas in loc. et 1. 2. C. de 
Jurisd. omnium. 

" Cic. in Ver. 1. 2. c. 13. Legem esse Rupiliam, quam P. Ru- 
pilius consul de decern legatorum sententia dedisset, c. 16. p. 298. 

P Liv. 1. 45. c. 17. 29. Leges Macedoniae dedit cum tanta cura, 
lit non hostibus victis, sed sociis bene mentis dare videretur : et 
quas ne usus quidem longo tempore (qui unus est legum cor- 
rector) experiendo argueret, c. 32. med. It was the constant 
practice of the Romans, in settling the laws by which their new 
conquests were to be governed, to send ten persons to assist the 
general herein. These were usually persons of the greatest dig- 
nity, who had served the highest offices : Decern legati more ma- 
jorum, quorum ex consilio, T. Quintius imperator leges pacis Phi- 
lippo daret, decreti ; adjectumque, ut in eo numero legatorum 
P. Sulpicius et P. Villi us essent, qui consules provinciam Mace- 
donian! obtinuissent. Liv. 1. 33. c. 25. Vid. 1. 37. c. 55. 1. 38. 
c. 38. 47. Neque permissum est nobis ab hoc ordine, ut, bellis 
confectis, decern legatis permitti solet more majorum. Cic. Phil. 
12. C.12. p. 699, fin. Vid. de Prov. Consul, c. 11. (28) p. 592. 
Ad Fam. 1. i. ep. 7. p. 721, fin. Ad Attic. 1. 13. ep. 6. p. 981, fin. 
et ep. 30. Polyb. Excerpt. Leg. ubique. To L. Anicius, general 
in Illyrium, there were but five sent. Liv. 1. 45. c. 17. et 26. 
The only instance that I remember to have met with. 


he had finished the Mithridatic war, did the same 
thing in Asia, as we are informed by Dio, there 
liaving been a great revolt of many of the Asiatic 
cities or states during that war 'i. And Hirtius re- 
lates of Julius Caesar, that when he had finished the 
civil war at Alexandria he passed through Galatia 
and Bithynia into Asia ; that he heard and deter- 
mined the controversies of all those provinces, and 
gave laws to the tetrarchs, kings, and cities'*. It 
was upon a like message, as I take it, that Quirinus 
was sent by Augustus into Judiea. Possibly for this 
reason Josephus styles him ^iKaio^oTYig rol (6vovi % the 
person who was to give law to that nation, or to 
settle how far they should be governed by their own 
laws, how far by the Roman law. 

It is very certain that governors sent by the Ro- 
mans into their provinces, if ill men, usually broke 
through these settlements, and exercised their au- 
thority where they ought not ; so that under such 
lawless presidents the free districts and cities had 
little or no benefit of the privileges granted them. 
This was the case in Sicily when Verres was praetor. 
Tully tells us that neither Sicilian nor Roman had 
any benefit from the laws under his government *. 

1 Ta Te irXeio) edv/j tuv iv t?) ^Aaiq, ttj Tjneipi} Tare avToTi; mxwv, ^iL^koi^ 
TE iS/oj? Ktxi iroAiTetaK; Ka-reuTfjC-aTO Ka) hi6Kia-y.fiatv. L. 37. p.38, D. I.5. 

■■ Ita per Gallograeciam Bithyniamque in Asiam iter facit, oin- 
niumque earum provinciarum cle controversiis cognoscit et sta- 
tuit ; jura in tetrarchas, reges, civilates distribuit. De Bell. Alex. 
c. 78, pr. 

* Antiq. 1. 18. c. i. §. i, pr. 

' Haec omnia isto prtetore non niodo perturbata, sed plane et 
Siciilis et civibiis Romanis erepta sunt : priniuni suae leges ; quod 
civis cum cive ageret, aut eum judicem, quern commodum erat, 
praiconcm, haruspicem, medicum suum dabat : aut si legibus erat 


Julius Caesar, sensible how much these places, which 
had the freedom of their own laws, suffered by such 
governors, passed a law in his first consulship, that 
the free people should be truly free". Notwith- 
standing, his father-in-law Piso soon after, being 
governor of Macedonia, made the whole country his 
property ; in direct contradiction to the Julian law 
deprived cities of their freedom, and not only plun- 
dered them but the Roman citizens also who were 
among them ^. This was so frequently the case of 
countries which had the liberty of their own magis- 
trates and laws granted them by the Roman people, 

judicium constitutum, et ad civem suum judicem venerant, libere 
civi judicare non licebat. Edictum eniin hominis cognoscite, &c. 
If Verres at any time so far complied with the settlement as to 
give the proper judge appointed by law, he did not suffer him to 
pronounce freely according to his judgment ; for he had reduced 
all under his own power by an edict he had made, that he would 
put to death those who gave a wrong judgment, i. e. such, a one 
as he did not apjirove : and even the senates of cities had by this 
terror been compelled to pass sentence contrary to their own 
judgment of things. In Ver. 1. s. c. 13. Vid. et c. 14, 15, t6, &c. 

" Lege Caesaris justissima atque optima populi liberi plane et 
vere erant liberi. Cic. in Pison. c. 16. p. 608. 

^ Lege autem ea, quam nemo legem, preeter te et collegam 
tuam, putavit, omnis erat tibi Achaia, Thessalia, Athense, cuncta 
Grajcia addicta. Ibid. Vexatio Macedonise ? An sociorum di- 
reptio ? An agrorum depopulatio ? c. 17. (40.) Vid. etc. 36. (87.) 
Mitto ereptam libertatem populis, ac singulis, qui erant affecli 
prsemiis nominatim, quorum nihil est, quod non sit lege Julia, ne 
fieri liceat, sancitum diligenter, c. 37. (90, fin.) Achaia exhausta : 
Thessalia vexata : lacerata^ Athense : Dyrrhachium et Apollonia 
exinanita : — cives Romani, qui in lis locis negotiantur, te unum, 
solum, suum depecidatorem, vexatorem, prifidonem, hostem, ve- 
nisse senserunt. Ibid. c. 40. (96) Omitto jurisdictionem in libera 
civitate contra leges senatusque consulta. De Prov. Consul, c. 3. 
(6, pr.) 


that if a governor was sent among them who had a 
regard to the settlement that had been made, and 
permitted them the use of their own laws, it was 
like life from the dead to them. Thus Tully says of 
some Asiatic cities, when he was proconsul of Ci- 
licia, and had part of Asia joined to it, Omnes suis 
legihus et judiciis usee, avrovoixtav adeptcB^ remxe- 
runt y. Restoring to them their ancient judicatories 
and form of government was restoring life itself. 

It may be thought by some possibly, that if the 
greatest part of a province were free, and had their 
own magistrates and laws, there could be but little 
business for a governor, unless he broke in upon 
their privileges ; that if he was observant of the set- 
tlements made, and discharged his duty as he ought, 
he must sit still the most of his time as an idle spec- 
tator of the government of others ; i. e. of those ma- 
gistrates who presided in the several little states or 
republics which filled his province. In answer to 
this, it is certain the provinces were at the time we 
are speaking of very large ; that a great part of the 
free districts and cities had a more restrained liberty 
only, which the governor of the province was to see 
punctually observed according to the limitations 
made in their first and subsequent settlements. In 
all these places there was some use of the Roman 
law more or less, and not a little business for the 
governor : and in those countries which were most 
free, as we have observed Nemausus and Massilia to 
have been, all matters of state ^-^ all affairs of peace 

y Ad Attic. 1. 6. ep. 2. p. 91 1, a. nied. 

' In matters of state kings themselves were to be obedient to 
the governors who were sent into the neighbouring provinces. 
Of this we have an example in Jos. Antiq. 1. ig. c. 8. §. i. where 


and war % and all cases of treason against the Roman 
people or emperors^, belonged wholly to the go- 
he tells us that five kings being entertained by Agrippa at Tibe- 
rias, Marsus, president of Syria, taking umbrage at the meeting of 
so many kings, and suspecting it might not be for the interest of 
the Roman empire, ordered them immediately to separate, which 
accordingly they did. There is little or no reason to doubt but 
all kings subject to the Roman people promised obedience in 

such cases. Petere regem, (scil. Antiochum) imperaret sibi 

populus Romanus, quae bono fidelique socio regl essent impe- 
randa : se nuUo usquam cessaturum officio. Liv. 1. 42. c. 6, 
Again, we are told of three kings that promised obedience in an 
affair of this nature : Eumenem, Antiochum, Ptolemseum polli- 
citos omnia, quae populus Romanus imperasset, praestaturos. Liv. 
1.42. c. 26, pr. fin. And at another time Antiochus says to the 
Roman ambassadors, Faciam quod censet senatus ; and his am- 
bassadors tell the Roman senate, Eum baud secus, quam deoruni 
imperio, legatorum Romanorum jussis paruisse ; and the senate 
answers, Antiochum recte atque ordine fecisse, quod legatis paru- 
isset. L. 45. c. 12, 13. et Polyb. Excerpt. Leg. 92. p. 916. 

= A condition imposed upon all conquered countries, as upon 
the Carthaginians ; Bellum neque in Africa, neve extra Africam 
injussu populi Romani gererent. Liv. I.30. c. 37. et Polyb. 1. 15. 
p. 705, D : upon kings themselves, as for instance Philip : Bellum 
extra Macedoniae fines ne injussu senatus gereret. Liv. I.33. c. 32. 
and Antiochus : Bellum gerendi jus Antiocho ne esto cum iis qui 
insulas colunt, neve in Europam transeundi. Liv. 1. 38. c. 38. 
Polyb. Excerp. Leg. 35. p. 840, fin. et 843, C : and, no doubt, on 
all free states, as we have before observed concerning the repub- 
lic of the Lycians. Titus Quintius commanded Diophanes, prae- 
tor of the Achaeans, to march his army from Messene, to which 
he had laid siege, and come to him : which being complied with, 
he chid him. Quod tantam rem sine auctoritate sua conatus esset; 
and enjoined him to dismiss his army. Liv, 1. 36. c. 31. Vid. et 
1. 35. c. 46, fin. et c. 50, pr. 

^ Imperium majestatemque populi Romani gens j^iitolonim 
conservato sine dole malo. Liv. I. 38. c. 1 1. Polyb. Excerpt. Leg. 
28. p. 832. This seems to have been a condition imposed upon 
most of those who entered into alliance with the Romans ; for 


vernor. Let me add, that all places, even the most 
free, unless expressly exempted by some law made 
in their favour, paid tribute to the Romans ^ ; and 

Proculus, in describing a free people, says, Liber autem pop.ulus 
est is, qui nullius alterius populi potestati est subjectus, sive is 
foederatus est ; item sive aequo foedere in amicitiam venit, sive 
foedere eompreliensum est, ut is populus alterius populi majesta- 
tem comiter conservaret : hoc enim adjicitur, ut intelligatur al- 
teruni populum superiorem esse ; non ut intelligatur alterum non 
esse liberum : quemadmodum clientes nostros intelligimus liberos 
esse, eliamsi neque auctoritate, neque dignitate, neque viribus no- 
bis pares sunt : sic eos, qui niajestatem nostram comiter conser- 
vare debent, liberos esse intelligendum est. L. 7. ft', de Captiv. 
It is certain that in the latter part of the commonwealth, and the 
times following, far the most of those who entered into alliance 
with the Romans were joined, non sequo foedere ; and therefore 
it is probable were held to this condition. Hence it came to 
pass that they might be guilty Icpsce majestatis, of treason against 
the Roman state, if they made war or raised an army without the 
leave of the Roman people, or if they supplied the enemies of the 
Romans with arms or provisions, or were the occasion that any 
foreign prince did not obey the Romans. L. 3, 4. ff. ad Leg. Jul. 
Maj. In this sense I take the last words of Proculus in the law 
before recited ; At fiunt apud nos rei ex civitatibus foederatis, et 
in eos damnatos animadvertimus. Proculus flourished at the end 
of the reign of Tiberius. Vid. Grot, in Vit. Juriscon. 

•^ Thus the Macedonians were obliged, tributum dimidium 
ejus, quod pependissent regibus, pendere populo Romano, Liv. 
1. 45. c. 29. And many of the Greek cities in Asia were tributary, 
Cic. ad Quint. Frat. 1. i. ep. i. c. 1 1. p. 1021, fin. et 1022, pr. 
Tacit. Annal. 1. 2. c. 47. In a word, every place to which an 
immunity was not granted, as it was to the Corinthians, Phocen- 
ses, &c. Liv. 1. 33. c. 34. Val. Max. 1. 4. c. 8. n. 5. to the Issen- 
ses, &c. Liv. 1. 45. c. 26. fin. the Rhodians, Senec. de Benef. I. 5. 
c. 16, fin, the Apamseans, Plin. ep. 1. 10. c. 56, the Ratavi, Tacit, 
de Mor. Germ. c. 29. Even some kings were tributary, such as 
Darius king of Pontus, Herod king of the Idumaeans and Sama- 
ritans, Amyntas king of Pisidia, Polemo king of part of Cilicia, 
Api)ian. Ik-ll. Civ. 1. 5. p. 715, D. 


that all causes which concerned the revenue were 
under the cognisance of the president of the pro- 
vince*^; and I think also the inspection and exa- 
mination of the accounts ^ : that in all places what- 
soever Roman citizens were to be judged by the 
Roman laws, and were under the jurisdiction of the 
Roman governor f; and probably there was not a 

'' Quantum vero illud est beneficium tuum, quod iniquo et 
gravi vectigali aedilitiorum, magnis nostris simultatibus, Asiam 
liberasti ? &c. Hie ita te versari, ut et publicanis satisfacias, (prae- 
sertim publicis male redemptis,) et socios perire non sinas, divinse 
cujusdam virtutis esse videtur, i. e. tuae, &c. &c. Cic. ad Quint. 
Frat. 1. I. ep. i. c. 9, pr. c. 1 1, med. Duobus generibus edicendum 
putavi : quorum unum est provinciale, in quo est de rationibiis 
civitatum, de sere alieno, de usura, de syngraphis ; in eodem om- 
nia de publicanis. Jd Attic. 1. 6. ep. t. p. 909, pr. Mira erant in 
civitatibus ipsorum furta Grsecorum, quae magistratus sui fecerant. 
Qusesivi ipse de iis, qui annis decem proximis magistratum gesse- 
rant : aperte fatebantur, &c. Ad Att. 1.6. ep. 2. p. 911, a. med. 
Leg. I.e. de Off. Praef. August. Vid. Voet. in Pand. tit. de Off. 
Proc. Caes. 1. 11. ff. de Off. Prass. 1. 6. §. 3, fin. eod. 1. 9, pr. ff. de 
Off. Proc. et 1. 2. C. ubi causae fiscales. 

^ At least Philo tells us this was the business of the governors 

of Egypt, 'AXXa Kou 'koyi(7y.oiiq twv TcpouoZuv Koti ZacrjAuv "kaf/.^civov'Taq, 
fov '/) elerao-j? tlv TeXetova tou iviavTov %pMov av^Xta-Ktv. InFlac. p.984, C. 
^ Thus in Sicily, Cic. in Ver. 1. 2. c. 13. and in Cyprus, ad 
Attic. 1. 5. ep. ult. p. 906, pr. and the cities of Asia, Quid tibi tan- 
dem, Deciane, injuriae factum est ? Negotiaris in libera civitate. 

Verum esto : negotiari libet : cur non Pergamis ? Smyrnae ? 

Trallibus ? Ubi et multi cives Roman! sunt et jus a nostro ma- 
gistratu dicitur. Pro Flacco, c. 29. p. 493, pr. That Smyrna was 
a free city, governed by their own laws, vid. Polyb. Excerp. Leg. 
25. p. 821, fin. Liv. 1. 38. c. 39. And Tully makes mention of 
them as fidelissimorum antiquissimorumque sociorum, Phil. 11. 
c. 2. p. 963, a. The inhabitants of Pergamus and Tralles were 
guilty of the basest treachery in the Mithridatic war ; concerning 
which see Cic. pro Flacco, c. 24. p. 492, pr. et Appian. Bell. 
Mithrid. p. 185, C. et E. Yet it is the opinion of the great Span- 


town of consideration in any province in which there 
were not many Roman citizens. The military forces 
also in every province were under the command of 
the president ^. When these things are laid toge- 
ther and considered, there is no one but must see 
that a Roman governor had full business upon his 
hands without interfering with the free states under 
him, and breaking in upon their liberty. Philo 
says that the governors of Egypt were so over- 
whelmed with multiplicity of business, that suitors 
in their court were no small sufferers ^. 

It must be acknowledged that the liberty of all 
places was a precarious thing, depending wholly on 
the pleasure of the Roman people ^ or emperors, who 
granted it, and took it away as they saw fitting ; 
so that we often read of many changes made in the 
condition of one and the same district or city, which 
was this while free, using their own laws, another 
while not so ; then free again, and afterwards again 

heim from several passages of TuUy, Dio, and Plutarch, that they 
had their liberty restored either by Luculliis or Pompey. Vid. 
Orb. Rom. p. 292. Add to this what has been already said in the 
notes concerning the Lycians, Rhodians, and Cyziceni. 

" Veteres Romani — niajoribus in provinciis magistratibus missis 
armorum juxta et legum potestatem fecissent — permissa scilicet 
praetoribus tam rei bellicae administratione quam legum praescrip- 
tione. Nov. 24. praef. Ut idem et militaribus copiis, quae per 
provinciam sunt, secundum cognomentum antiquitus illis imposi- 
tum prseeat, et praeficiatur legibus. Ibid. c. i. 

'An*'/5%avo)/ f^h yap rjv tovi; i)ye//.ovai Too-ai/trvj? %w/Ja? iiriTpoTtevovTai;, 
Sia KaivoTfpuv eireta-peovTUV IhtaTiKZv tc ko.) Ztj lAOa-'iuv TcpayfAoiTuv dirdvTUV 

[/.ffA-vyjaSsci, &c. Vid. et prsecedentia. In Flac. p. 984, C. 

' De jure enim libertatis et civitatis suum putat esse judicium, 
(i. e. populus Romanus) et recle putat. Cir. in Ver. 1. i.e. 5. 
('3. P"-) 


reduced under obedience to the Roman laws ^\ And 
as the greatest part of these free states paid tribute, 
they were generally so harassed and oppressed by 
the publicans, or farmers of the public taxes, that 
their liberty was of small advantage ^ The gover- 

^ Thus the Greek cities in Europe, we have observed, were pro- 
claimed free after the war with Philip king of Macedonia, Liv. 
1. 33. c. 32. This freedom, after the battle of Actium, was 
taken away from all the cities of Achaia, excepting Patrse, by Au- 
gustus. Pausan. Achai. p. 224. 1. 18. Kal ehuKe f^h iXevdepoii; 
'A^aiZv [A.ivot(; toTi; UaTpeZa-iv eivai. Dio, 1. 5 T . p. 443, B. 9. Koc) 0? 
Ta? (/.ev ttoMii; ^pyjfA.a.recv re dtntpoigd, Kal Tiji XotTiTJi; e? rovq icokhai <r^<ci/ 
iv tOAC, iKKXrja-hii; i^ovtrlcci; 'Kupa.ipeaei, jU€T-^X5e. Acliaia was proclaimed 
free again by Nero at the Isthmian games. Suet, in Ner. c. 24. 
n. 6. Decedens, provinciam universam libertate donavit. — Quae 
beneficia e medio stadio Isthmiorum die sua ipse voce pronun- 
ciavit. Vid. Plut. Flamin, p. 376, C. Their liberty was soon 
after taken away again by Vespasian. Achaiam — libertate adempta. 
Suet, in Vesp. c. 8. n. 9. Pausan. Achai. p. 222. 1. 25. Many of 
their cities or states were free again under Trajan, Plin. 1. 8. ep, 
24. Cogita te missum in provinciam Achaiam — ad ordinandum 

statum liberarum civiiatum. Te vero meminisse oportet — 

quale quantumque sit ordinare statum liberarum civitatum. Nam 
quid ordinatione civilius ? Quid libertate pretiosius ? Porro quam 
turpe, si ordinatio eversione, libertas servitute mutetur ? TheRho- 
dians were great favourites in the war with Antiochus, Liv. 1. 38. 
c. 39.; were quite out of favour in the war with Perseus, Liv. 1. 
44. c. 14, 15. and 1. 45. c. 25.; afterwards upon great entrea- 
ties restored to friendship, Epit. 46. Their liberty was taken 
away by Claudius, and restored again at the intercession of Nero 
by the same emperor, Dio, 1. 60. p. 681, B. Tacit. Ann, 1, 12, c, 
58, n, 3.; taken away again by Vespasian, Sex. Rufus in Bre- 
viario, c. 10, fin. Suet, in Vesp. c. 8. n. 9. They were free again 
under I'rajan. Dio Chrys. Orat. 32. p. 377, C. 

' Ilia causa publicanorum quantam acerbitatem afferat sociis, 

intelleximus ex civibus, qui nuper in portoriis Italiae tollendis, non 

tarn de portorio, quam de nonnullis injuriis portitorum quereban- 

tur. Quare non ignoro, quid sociis accidat in ultimis terris, cum 

M 2 


nors also who were sent among them, as we have 
akeady observed, allowed them no more liberty than 
they saw fit, and often treated them more like slaves 
than freemen ™. These things however make it not 
at all the less true, that there were very many places 
under the Romans to whom the supreme ruling 
powers, whether it were the senate, the people, or 
the emperor, granted the privilege of being governed 
by their own laws and their own magistrates. 


The Romans xoere peculmrly favourahlc to the Jews, and 
allowed them smgidar privileges in all parts of the em- 

Secondly, it is also certain that the Jews were 
indulged the peculiar favour of being in a great mea- 
sure under their own laws, even out of Judaea, in all 
parts of the Roman empire, wheresoever they dwelt ". 
They were permitted to build synagogues, assemble 

audierim in Italia querelas civium. Hie te ita versari, ut et pub- 

licanis satisfacias et socios perire non sinas, divinae cujusdam 

virtulis esse videtur. Cic. ad Quint. Frat. 1. i. ep. i. c. ii. The 
senate of Rome themselves say, Et ubi publicanus est, ibi aut jus 
publicum vanum, aut libertatem sociis nuUam esse. Liv. 1. 45. c. 
18, med. 

™ Some of these considerations probably made Tully smile, 
when he wrote to his friend Atticus concerning the liberty of the 
Greek cities : Sibi libertatem censent Grseci datam, ut Grseci 
inter se disceptent suis legibus — Grseci vero exultant, quod pe- 
regrinis judicibus utuntur, nugatoribus quidem, inquies. Quid 
refert? tamen se aiTovoy.lav adeptos putant. Vestri enim, credo, 
graves habent, Turpionem sutoriuni, et Vettium manci|)em. Ad 
Alt. 1. 6. ep. I. p. 909, a, fin. 

" NuUo adeo in aevo fere non erat hoc nationi huic singulare 
suis fere legibus alieno in regno seu republica uti. Seld. de Suc- 
cess, in hon. Prol. p. 10. 


together on Saturdays and holydays to hear their 
law explained, keep their festivals, and perform 
whatever rites were prescribed them°. They were 

° The Halicarnasseans, in imitation of the Romans, and in 
obedience to what they had wrote to them, decree that the Jews, 
both men and women, keep their sabbaths and perform their 
holy rites according to their own laws, ko,] lai ■n^odf.vy)'.^ -KoieZydai, 
and build Proseuchae, or say their prayers near the sea, according 
to [their own country manner, and that whoever should hinder 
them, whether magistrate or private person, should be fined. Jos. 
Antiq. 1. 14. c. 10. §. 23. The senate and people of Sardis agree 
to the petition of the Jews, that they may have a place given 
them, in which they may assemble with their wives and children, 
to perform their prayers, and other holy rites, to God, and decree 
that it may be lawful for them to meet together upon the ap- 
pointed days, to do according to their own laws. Ibid. §. 24. 
There is a decree of the Ephesians to the same purpose, §.25. 
and both these decrees were made in obedience to the Romans. Pub- 
lius Servilius Galba the proconsul is displeased with the Milesians 
for prohibiting the Jews to observe their sabbaths and other holy 
rites, and decrees that the Jews should not be hindered in the 
use of their own customs. Ibid. §. 21. There is a decree of a 
Roman praetor directed to the magistrates of Parium, (a city of 
Mysia near the Propontis. The praetor being now at Delos, pro- 
bably misled the learned Hudson to translate it Pariorum, which 
signifies the inhabitants of the island of Parus, whenas Uapidvwv are 
the inhabitants of Parium, vid. Strab.) wherein the praetor shews 
his displeasure, that they had by their decree forbad the Jews to 
live according to their own customs, and to contribute money for 
their feasts and other holy rites, when they were not prohibited 
the doing this even at Rome. For, adds the praetor, Caius Cae- 
sar, our praetor and consul, when by an edict he forbad, dida-ovi 

avvdyfo-dxi kouio. ttoXii/, \mvov:, tovtovi; ovk iKuXva-ev, ovTe yjf'ri[^a,'va. avv- 
€i(T(pep€iv, oi>'t€ aMemva 'Koieiv, all Other merry and festival meetings, 
he forbad not the Jews to collect money, and feast together. In 
like manner I also, forbidding all other festival assemblies, permit 
to this people only to meet together, and feast according to their 
country customs and laws, {'{a-vaaOai undoubtedly ought to be read 
kari^cBai.) ibid. §. 8. Philo says, that Augustus knew that the 
M 3 


allowed to meet to pay their first-fruits, and to send 
them together with whatever money they pleased to 
Jerusalem for offerings i', and to appoint proper offi- 

,Tc\vs at Rome had synagogues, and that they met together in 
them, especially on the holy seventh days, when they publicly 

taught their own country philosophy. He did not innovate in 

their synagogues, nor forbid them to meet together for the exposi- 
tion of their laws. Leg. ad Caium, p. 1014, D. E. And they 
enjoyed the same privileges under Tiberius, Ibid. p. 10 15, B. 
This is also in great measure evident from the Roman authors. 
Jejunia sabbaiariorum. Mart. 1. 4, 4. In qua te qusero proseucha. 
Juv. Hodie tricesima sabbatha ; vin' tu Curtis Judaeis oppedere? 
Hor. Sat. 1. 1.9. Ne Judseus quidem, mi Tiberi, tarn diligenter 
sabbathis jejunium servat, quam ego hodie servavi. Aug. in Suet. 
c. 76. n. 3. 

V Pkilo in Leg. ad Caium, p. 10 14, D. E. p. 1033, A. Augus- 
tus hearing that the first-fruits were neglected, wrote to the go- 
vernors of the provinces in Asia, to permit the Jews only to 
asseinble for banqueting. For that these were not assemblies of 
drunkenness and debauchery, (alluding plainly to the 6ia<roi for- 
bidden in the decree of Caius Caesar before recited,) to cause riots 
and disturbance, but were schools of sobriety and righteousness, 
of men studying virtue, and bringing in their yearly first-fruits, of 
wbich they offer sacrifices, sending holy messengers to the temple 
at Jerusalem. Then he commanded that none should hinder 
the Jews from assembling, contributing their money, or sending 
to Jerusalem after their coimtry manner. Then follows a letter 
of Norbanus, containing an epistle of Augustus to him : " That 
" the Jews, wherever they are, should, according to their ancient 
" custom, meet together, bring in their monev, and send it to 
•* Jerusalem." Ibid. p. 1035, D. E. 1036, A. B. We have the 
letter of Augustus Caesar to Norbanus in Jos. Antiq. 1. 16. c. 6. 
§. 3. '• The Jews, wherever they are, by an ancient custom, are 
" wont to bring their money together, and to send it to Jerusa- 
" lem : let them do this without hinderance." In consequence 
hereof Norbanus wrote to the Sardians, Jos. ibid. §. 6. and 
Ephesians, Philo Leg. ad Caium, p. 1036, A. and probably to all 
the other cities and states under his government. Agrippa wrote 
to the Ejjhesians, that whoever should steal the sacred money of 


cers to carry it i. They were suffered also to deter- 
mine all disputes and controversies among them- 
selves in a judicial way ^. They were not only thus 

the Jews, and fly to an asylum, should be taken from thence and 
delivered to the Jews, (in order to be prosecuted and punished,) 
in the same manner as sacrilegious persons were to be dragged 
from all asylums. Jos. Antiq. 1. 16. c. 6. §. 4. He sent also to 
the magistrates of Cyrene, putting them in mind that Augustus 
had wrote to Flavins the praetor of Libya, and to others, who had 
the care of that province, that the Jews might send their sacred 
money to Jerusalem without let or hinderance, commanding the 
Cyrenians to restore what had been stopped or taken away from 
the Jews under pretence of tribute, and to prevent the like hin- 
derance for the future. Ibid. §. 5. Augustus decreed that the 
stealing of their sacred books or their sacred money, out of the 
places in which they were wont to be reposited in their syna- 
gogues, should be sacrilege, and the punishment confiscation of 
goods. Ibid. §. 2. Vid. et de Bell. Jud. 1. 6. c. 6. §. 2. p. 1284, 

'1 SreXXovTe? UpoiTO[A.'i[ohi (k to eV 'lepoa-oAvixoii; iepov. Phil. Leg. ad 
Caium, p. 1035, fin. Tot? fl<; ravra, aitOKeKpifJiivov(;. Jos. Antiq, 1- 
16. c. 6. §. 5, fin. 

■■ It is a most remarkable letter sent by Lucius Antonius, pro- 
quaestor and pro-praetor, to the magistrates, senate, and people of 
Sardis : " The Jews, our citizens, (i.e. citizens of Rome,) came 
" to me, and made proof that they have had of ancient time a 
" synod of their own, according to their own country laws, and a 
" place of their own, in which they judicially determine causes 
" and disputes between each other. Having petitioned me that 
" it may be lawful for them to do this, I have decreed to permit 
" them." Jos. Antiq. 1. 14. c. 10. §. 17. ^lovbaloi noKTrai YjfAeTtpoi 
'itpoa-iX6ovr€(; iaqi iiieiet^av favTolii; trvvo^ov e'xetv Ihiav Kara, roii; izarplovi 
vofMvq an^(;, Ka) Tottov ifijov, Iv f rd, re Trpayjaara Ka^ ra; -Kphti aXXij- 
"Kovc avTikoyia<; Kplvova-i. Tcvto ts ahrjoraufvoti;, IV «|^ avroti; TtoieTv, t»j- 

frrja-ai koi Im-Tpei^ai eKptva. Though this was a free city, yet the 
persons who applied themselves to the pro-praetor, being Roman 
citizens, were under his jurisdiction ; notwithstanding, being Jews 
as well as Romans, he allows them to determine their own con- 
troversies among themselves by their own laws. 
M 4 


indulged in tlie use of their own customs and laws, 
but, what is much more, if any laws of the country 
where they inhabited interfered with their customs 
they were dispensed with, and not obliged to comply 
with those laws. Thus, for instance, they were dis- 
pensed with in not attending courts of judicature or 
giving bail on their sabbaths or feast-days ^. They 
were exempted from serving in the Roman army *, 

* The Jews of Ionia complain to Agrippa, that by the injustice 
of the magistrates they were forced into their judicial courts on 
their feast-days, and made to serve both in the army and in civil 
employments, contrary to the privileges granted them by tlie Ro- 
mans, and Agrippa relieved them, Jos. Antiq. 1. i6. c. 2. §. 3,4,5. 
And upon complaint made by the Jews of Asia and Libya, Augus- 
tus decreed that they should not be obliged to give in bail on the 
sabbath-days, or on the preparation before the sabbath from the 
ninth hour, i, e. on Friday, after three of the clock in the after- 
noon. Ibid. c. 6. §. I, 2. And Agrippa wrote to Silanus, praetor 
of Asia, to the same purpose, §. 4. fin. "Eypa^pa ^e ko.) ^iXavS tS 

t Dolabella, president of Asia, having received an embassy from 
Hyrcanus, informing him that the Jews were incapable of being 
soldiers in the Roman army, because they could not bear arms, 
nor march, nor provide their own victuals on the sabbath-days ; 
writes to the Ephesians, and by them to all the cities of Asia, 
granting to the Jews (as he says the governors before him had 
done) a freedom from serving in the army, and the use of their 
own customs, to assemble for the performance of their sacred 
rites, and to make contributions for their sacrifices. Jos. Antiq. 1. 
14. c. 10. §. 12. Lucius Lentulus the consul pronounces a de- 
cree, whereby he dismisses the Jews at Ephesus, who were Roman 
citizens, from the military service, upon the account of religion. 
Ibid. §. 13. Being Roman citizens, they were liable by the Ro- 
man law to have been enlisted, had it not been for this immunity 
or exemption. Vid. et §. 16, 18, 19. Therefore Marcus I*iso, 
when he came to Delos to enlist soldiers, commanded the praetor 
and people of that city, that if there were any Jews among them, 
who were Roman citizens, thev should not trouble them bv en- 


and from all those civil offices which were incon- 
sistent with their religion ; as appears by the de- 
crees of Augustus, Agrippa, and several Roman 
governors to this purpose ". So that Seneca affirms 
of them, that they gave law to their conquerors ^. 

And it is not a little remarkable how very con- 
descending and kind the emperor Augustus was to 
this people. For in his monthly distributions of 
money and corn to the people of Rome, as he gave 
to the Jews equal to what he did to the rest, so if it 
happened that the distribution was made on their 
sabbath-day, when they think it unlawful to receive 
money, he, knowing their scruple, ordered it to be 

listing ihem, because the consul Cornelius Lentulus had freed the 
Jews from serving in the army upon the account of their religion. 
And the Delians made a decree that this order should be ob- 
served. The Sardians made a decree to the same effect. Ibid. 
§. 14. 

" AeiTovpyiSv avay/ca^OjUevm Koivuve'iv, Jos. Antiq. 1. 1 6. C. 2. §. 3. 
med. Kai latc, kofxaic, ctjovrei; tVi ^iKaarrrifia, Koi 'iifa'y[Aa-teta<; aKXaq, 

ibid. §. 4. p. 71 1, pr. Though these laws were broke in upon by- 
Caligula, they were confirmed by Claudius, Jos. Antiq. 1. 19. c. 5. 
§. 2, 3. who commanded the magistrates of all cities, colonies, 
and municipia, both within Italy and without, as also all kings 
and potentates, to procure a copy of his decree, made in favour of 
the Jews, and to expose it where it might be read by all. Vid. et 
c. 6. §. 3. And were preserved by the succeeding emperors, as is 
evident from the speech made by Titus. De Bell. Jud. 1. 6. c. 6. 
§. 2. p. 1284, fin. 

^ Cum interim usque eo sceleratissimae gentis consuetudo con- 
valuit, ut per omnes jam terras recepta sit : victi victoribus leges 
dederunt. Apud Aug. de Civ. Dei 1. 6. c. ii. And Dio says 
they prevailed ; "Oo-Te koI ira^'prjo-lav (vel «/<; na.ppTja-ia.v) rvj<; vofAla-iui; 

eKnKrja-ai. L. 36. p. 37, B. Vid. Seld. de Success, in bon. Prol. p. 
9, 10. 


laid up in safe custody for them till the next day >'. 
Is it reasonable to think that a people so peculiarly 
favoured in all parts of the Roman empire out of 
their own country, should not in their country be 
governed by their own laws and their own magis- 
trates, a privilege so commonly granted by the Ro- 
mans, as we have seen, to other countries ? 


The Jews petitioned the cmpe?-or Atigustus that their coun- 
try might be made a Roman p?-ovince, with this vieza, 
that they might have the free use of their oxen laws. 

Thirdly, it is also fully evident from Josephus, 
that it was the earnest desire of the Jews that they 
might be no longer under a king of their own, but 
under a Roman governor ; and that the true reason 
why they so earnestly sought to have their country 
annexed to the province of Syria was, that they 
might have the free use of their own laws. When 
Archelaus went to Rome to obtain of Augustus the 
confirmation of his father's will, even his relations 
and friends joined themselves to his brother and 
competitor Antipas, (who had been named by his 
father Herod in a former will as the person he de- 
signed should succeed him in his kingdom,) not out 
of good-will to Antipas, but out of hatred to Arche- 

y Oil [J!.y}v a'AAcc k^v TaT; ix'/jvialoii; t^? ira.Tptcjoi; Sjavo/xar.;, apyvpKiv -q 
aUTOV iv lAifti ■ncci'roi; toi/ Bvj/aov Aa[A.^MOVTOi;, ouSeTrore tovi; 'lovSa/oi^^ iiXdr- 
rua-f T^i ^dpiTOi, aXX' d koi avve^rj t^^ lepS.^ 6,S8o'/iaij? fVftrTuffrjt; yevea-Bat 
Tvjv S<ai'0jiA7)>', ore oL'tc Xa/Ji^dvav ovre SiSo'vaj, ^ (Tvi/o\ui t) itpaTrav tZv 
KdTcc ^lov, Ko.) iA.a,XKTT!x tlv 'aopKn^v i<\)UTai, Ttpca-eTeraKTo to?? 8iave/xoi/<r* 
laj/.ieveiv to?? 'lonSa/oj? elf t^v va-repaiav T-fjv koivtjv ipu.avBpdniiav. Phil. 
Leg. ad Caiimi, p. 1015, A. 


laus, chiefly, nevertheless, because they desired free- 
dom, and to be under a Roman governor ''■. And 
this was the general desire of the whole nation % 
who, with the consent of Varus the president of 
Syria, despatched an embassy to Rome to ask for 
the freedom of being governed by their own laws ^ : 
and that this petition might come with the more 
weight, no fewer than fifty persons are by the decree 
of the nation sent on this embassy^, to whom, when 
they arrive at Rome, above eight thousand Jews of 
that city join themselves '', and appear with them be- 
fore Caesar ^. He gives them a hearing, and the 
sum of their petition is, that they may no longer be 
governed by a king, but be made part of the pro- 
vince of Syria, and be subject to the presidents 
which are sent thither ^. Josephus relates exactly 
the same thing in the book of the Jewish Wars ; 
says that all the relations of the family who hated 
Archelaus did what in them lay to assist Antipas at 

'• MaMiTTa jUev liTi6vf/.(ivvrfi; iXevdeplai;, KOt vi:o 'Fu[ (TTfctT'fijSi 
TtTaxBa-i. Antiq. 1. 17. c. 9. §. 4. prop. fin. 

^ A<ix T3 ■KoKKoiiii dva.1 Toi/? aiJrovO|M./a? ■yXip^OjM.ei'OK?. Ibid. c. 13. §. I, 

^ 'A(l>iK€ro fl; TYjv 'PwjU'/ji' TrpiO-^eiU 'lov^aiuv Ovdpov tov ccTcoaroXov av- 
tZv tu- eBvu iniKfxupyjKoroi TOEP AITHSEOS ATTONOMIAS. Ibid, 
prop. pr. 

•= Kai |o-ai/ ol i^h vpta^eii; ol a.-i!0<rTcc'A(vT€<; rNOMH TOT E0NOT2 

^ "Swia-ravro Se aino7i; tSv sttj 'Pw^m'/ji; 'lov^aiu)^ vislp o/cTa/cJO-jj^jX/ou?. 

Ibid. 1. 9, 10, II. 

^ 01 jWev "Kpia^n^ iJ.€Ta, lov ic'kqBovq tuv avroBi 'lovhaiuv a,<piKvovvTai, 

i. e. into the court held upon this occasion by Augustus Caesar. 
Ibid. 1. 14. 

' 'Hv Se KupdXaiov olvtoI^ t^j? d^iciffeui;, ^aaiXtiac, /xh koa ToiSvSe dp- 
yjiiv dwiiKhdy^ai, 'rrpotjB'^Krjv 8e ^vpla^ yeyovorai v'WOTd.<jat(TBai -voii; iKi7ae 
7r€jtA7rojM,ej'0(5 aTpaTrjyoTi;, Ibid. §. 2, fin. 


Rome ; and the principal reason was, because every- 
one of them desired that the nation might live in the 
use of their own laws under the administration of a 
Roman governor ; but if they failed of this, they 
had rather Antipas should be king than Archelaus s. 
He adds also, that by the permission of Varus fifty 
ambassadors were sent to Rome, and that their in- 
structions were to obtain for the nation a freedom of 
living after their own laws '* ; that above eight thou- 
sand Jews stood with them before Caesar ' ; and that 
their petition was, that, being joined to Syria, the 
government of their country might be administered 
by Roman presidents ^. 

He that will compare these passages together 
must be convinced that the Jews did not understand, 
by having their country annexed to Syria, and under 
the power of a Roman governor, that they were to 
be deprived of their own laws and magistrates ; but, 
on the contrary, that they should hereby obtain a 
more free and regular administration of their laws 
than they had enjoyed under their late king Herod, 
and that their magistrates would be less obstructed 
in the execution of them than they were under him. 
For although you see nothing appears in their peti- 

^ Ka< TTfo-qjoviAivui jwfv e/caoro? avrovofAtac^ eTreOvjAei, a-tfonrj'y^ 'Pa'- 
fxatuv Stoj/cou/xev^?' tl Se rovrov hiufxapravotiv, ^aariXeveiv 'Kv-ritiav T^BeXov. 

De Bell. Jud. 1. 2. c. 2. §. 3, fin. 

^ 'Emrpfypavroi; Ovdpov, itpea-^en; i^tXrjXvdr](Tav IlEPI TO TOT 
E0NOT2 ATTONOMIAi;. 'H<rav 8e irevr-^KOvra i^h ol Ttapovrei. 

' 'SvfAticcpia-TavTO Se ainoTi tuv tisl 'Pw/aij^ 'lovlaluv virep OKXaKKrxiXiovi 
— fxeTo. ue;/ tZv -rcpecr^evTuv to 'lovda'iKov ttX^Ao? ea-rij. Ibid. C. 6. §. I, 

Ae7a-dai 8e 'Puf^aiuv iXef^tral t6 to, t^? 'Uvlaia<; Xd^ava — crvv 
u\l/uvra<; 8e t^ Svp/jt tijv x&'j'aJ' avTZv tmntTv vi:o Ibion; -^yefAoa-iv. Ibid. §. 
2. p. 1057. 1. 5, &C. 


tion to Augustus, but that they might be joined to 
the province of Syria, yet the reason of this request, 
we are expressly told by Josephus, was their desire 
of liberty, that they might have a more free use of 
their laws than they were lately permitted. It was 
this desire made the family of Herod take part with 
Antipas (who had the weaker claim) against Arche- 
laus, hoping hereby to prevail, that both might at 
length be set aside. It was this desire made the na- 
tion of the Jews apply to Varus for his consent to 
their despatching an embassy to Rome. It was this 
desire made them send so great a number of ambas- 
sadors. To use their endeavours to obtain this de- 
sired liberty were the instructions given to this nu- 
merous body. It was this desire also made the 
Jews at Rome join with them, and fill up their train. 
Nothing therefore can be more plain, than that they 
expected to have a more free exercise of their 
own laws under a Roman governor than they had 
under Herod : and had not their magistrates in the 
reign of Herod the power of inflicting corporal pun- 
ishments and death in the execution of the Mosaic 
laws? I am persuaded no one ever doubted it. 
Most certainly, then, the Jews did not in the least 
suspect that they should be deprived of this power 
under a Roman governor ; but, on the contrary, be- 
lieved that they should enjoy the exercise of it in a 
more full and ample manner than they had done 
under Herod. Had they known that they were to 
have entirely lost it by receiving a Roman governor, 
they would have chosen rather to have suffered any 
hardships under a king of their own. Every one 
knows how fond persons usually are of ancient cus- 
toms and laws. It is certain that no people upon 


the face of the eai-th ever were more so than the 
Jews, who have always shewn a steady, constant, 
and, I may add, most obstinate adherence to their 
own customs ^ from which no sufferings could ever 
make them swerve. Besides, with what propriety 
or truth could it be said that it was the desire of 
living after their own laws which induced them to 
petition for a Roman governor, if they knew at the 
same time, that, by obtaining what they asked, they 
should have less the exercise of their own laws than 
they had before ? 


The reasons we have to believe that the emperor Aug^iistus 
granted to the Jeios zchat they had m viexv in this peti- 

Fourthly, there are many reasons to persuade 
us that the emperor Augustus did comply with the 
intent of the petition we have mentioned, after he 
banished Archelaus : and although he appointed a 
governor, and gave him power over all ™, yet at the 
same time allowed the Jews the liberty of their own 
laws, in the execution of which their magistrates 
might inflict corporal punishments, and death itself. 

First, It is evident the emperor Augustus was 

' "HSei yaf avB^ kvoq OavaTOv j/.vplov(; av, e'ntep dvvarov -qv, e'^eX^trovTa? 
lTC(jj/.u)iai ijmKKov, ri itfpitheTv tj tuv anttpriiAeyuv S/Jw/Aevcv. ' Aitayrti yap 
avOpuTtn (pvXaKTtKo) tSu l^iuv iBuv elffi, tia,(p{povTa.<(; Se To 'lov^acTov edvo<. 
©eo^pvjffTa yap Xiyta Tol? vof^ov^ dvai vicoXajji.^dvovTec, Ka) toi/to ex npu- 
TYji ijXiKiat; TO u«fiij/Aa watScv^eWe?, iv touc, ^v/ctC^i &C. Philo Leg. ad 
Caium, p. 1099, C. 1. 9. 

'" K«L"iri5v(o'(," Tf al-xZ o'vyKaTanefji.itiTat — vjy^O'oiA.cvot; 'lovhatwv tjj «7r» 
iiaiTiy il'jwia.. Jos. Antiq. 1. I 8. C. I . § . i. 


ready enough to grant people the liberty of living 
under their own magistrates and their own laws. 
He continued this privilege to most of those places 
which enjoyed it before his time °; and he gave it to 
many who before were without it °, particularly in 
Gaul P, Spain ^, Crete '', if not also in Germany '. 

2dly, The great kindness which upon all other 
occasions he discovered to the Jewish nation, ren- 
ders it highly probable that he would not deny them 
this request. I have already shewn from several 
decrees of his, and of his favourite minister Agrippa, 
how willing he was to confirm their immunities and 
privileges ; what care he took their sacred money 
should be secure, and conveyed to Jerusalem without 

" ' HSetiTav avTov tr^v iiztfj'.i'Aeiav, kolI o-ci ToaavTqv 'K0it7Tai T-rji; ^ificciu- 
erea? t£v ntaf l/cao-roj^ 'aocrfluv, oViji/ kou tuv PcofAaiKuv. Phllo Leg. ad 
Caium, p. IOI4, B. 1. 5- Ta Sf, el ko.) rare ijSij e/ce%e/p£UTO, aXK' 
ovTOj'ye Koi viio tuv 'Fmf^aluv ^j3%^to, ScX'A' '/} ot.vrovoi/,a a,(pe7ro, y) Ka\ ^atn- 
XetacK; nah inner pai^TO. Dio, 1. 53- P- 5°4' ^* ^' 3* '^ ^^ ^^ ^^~ 
yova-roi; to (jlIv iicriKoov kutcc to. tZv 'PufAaluv eOv} ituKet, to §€ eva-irovlov 
tS -KaTflcc <rcj)ia-t Tpoico) ae) ccpyjadcti. L. 54- P- 5 2^' ^• 

° OZto<; ra,(; wo'Xej? dicda-ai; eU iXevdeplav i^eKo/Aevo^. Philo Leg. ad 
Caium, p. 1013, C. 

P 'O yovv Avy(ivaro(; eTietirjiiep nzavTa rot, re ev Tcciq TakaTian;, Kav to. 
ev Tcu<, FepjiAavjaj^, Talc, t" 'l^rjpiai^, 'toKka y.ev dvakais'ai; Sii; eKciaTOiq, 
■noXKd 8e ko.) -nap' eTepuv Xa^aiv, ttjv t' iXev6epiav ko.) t\v -woXtrelav T(tt<; 
JW.6V Soiii;, To7q V dcpeXo/Aevoi;, hiatK'^aaTO. Dio, 1. 54. p. 538, fin. The 
great Spanheim conjectures that the Nervii, Suessiones, Ul- 
manctes, Leuci, Treveri, mentioned by Pliny as free, 1. 4. §. 31. 
and Secusiani, §.32. had their liberty given them by Augustus. 
Vid. Orb. Rom. p. 351. 

<) Oppida libertate donata sex. Plin. 1. 3. §. 3. This, Span- 
heim conjectures, was done by Augustus. Vid. ibid. 

^ Ku^uveuTai; re Koi AaTrira/ot/? iXevOepovi; cup'^iKev. Dio, 1. 51. p. 

443. D. 

" Dio, 1. 54. p. 538, fin. 


let or hinderance. Philo also tells us that he ap- 
pointed a bullock and two lambs to be sacrificed 
daily as whole burnt-offerings to the most high 
God at the temple of Jerusalem, and the expenses to 
be defrayed out of his own revenue^: and both he 
and his empress Livia adorned the temple with 
many rich presents ". 

3dly, It is also, I think, sufficiently evident from 
the History of Josephus, that he actually did grant 
what they desired. He annexed their country to 
the province of Syria, and placed over them a Roman 
governor, who was under the president of Syria ^. 
This is all that appears upon the face of their peti- 
tion ; and thus much, it is certain, was granted. 
And why may we not suppose that they obtained 
the spirit as well as letter of their petition, and were 
gratified in the end for which they so earnestly 
sought this alteration? Is there any thing related 
by Josephus which shews the contrary ? Is there 
any one word throughout his whole history which 
will prove that the Jewish nation were not governed 

* Leg. ad Caium, p. 1014. fin. et p. 1036, C. 

" Ka« ij 'KfoiAMfA-jMi GOV 'lovXia, 2ejSao-T7) Ka,T€Koafji,-/}<T€ rlv veuv xp^°'^^i 
(ptaXaiq Koi o'ltovheToti;, koi aXKwv avaOcfJidTuv iroXvTeKecrraiTuv irX-^Oet, 
Agrippa in Phil. Leg. ad Caium, p. 1036, D. 'Aneaxero S' die 
ruv iii:o fcv 'Ee^ao'roZ koi t^? yvvatKoq aiiTov TrefAiftOiyTuv a.Kparo<bopa>y. 
01 fAiv yap 'Pufjiociav ^aa-iXe7(; eT/^»)<rav re Koi 'j:pc<TiK0(7(AT,<Tav to Upov ait, 

Jos. Bell. Jud. 1. 5. c. ult. §. 6. p. 1256, pr. 

* Jos, Antiq. 1. 17, fin. et 1. 18, pr. Ilap^i/ 8e Ka\ Kv/)/j]/<o? ej? t^v 
'loviaiuv 'jrpoffB-qKVjv t^i; 'Evptai yevofAev^v . Vitellius, president of Syria, 
sent Pilate to Rome to give an account of his conduct, and placed 
Marcellus his friend in his room. Antiq. 1. 18. c. 5. §. 2. Thus 
also Ummidius Quadratus, president of Syria, sent Cumanus, 
governor of Judaea, to Italy, to give an account of his behaviour. 
Antiq. 1. 20. c. 5. §. 2. p. 889, fin. 


by their own laws, or that their magistrates had not 
the power of inflicting corporal punishments and 
death in the execution of their laws ? Is it not na- 
tural to suppose, that had they been deprived of 
these rights, Josephus would have taken particular 
and express notice of it ? Nay, was it not incumbent 
on him as an historian so to do ? When he had be- 
fore told us of the petition offered by the Jewish 
nation, of the great solemnity of the embassy sent 
therewith, of the numerous body of Jews which 
attended when it was presented to Augustus, and of 
the end for which they so eagerly desired his com- 
pliance and favourable answer ; if, after this peti- 
tion was granted, they found themselves disappointed 
in the end they proposed to themselves by offering 
it, and were not allowed the free use of their own 
laws, at least not the execution of them in all capi- 
tal causes ; was it not, I say, incumbent on him as 
an historian to have related this ? Most certainly it 
was ; and the neglect hereof is too gross an error to 
charge on such a writer. It is true, the petition 
was not granted till eight or nine years y after it was 
presented. But this is no manner of excuse for Jo- 
sephus, because the facts mentioned by him as hap- 
pening during this interval of time are so very few, 
and the relation of them is in so narrow a compass, 

y Josephus herein differs from himself. In his Antiquities, he 
says Archelaus was banished in the tenth year of his reign ; in 
the Jewish Wars, in the ninth. Antiq. 1. 17. c. ult. §. 2, 3. De 
Bell. Jud. 1. 2. c. 7. §. 3. Is it not possible to reconcile him 
thus? May he not in his Antiquitias reckon his reign from the 
time of his father's death ? in his Jevvisli Wars, from the time 
Augustus confirmed his father's will, and made him ethnarch ? 


that they could never make him forget so material a 
part of his History as this. 

It seems, such was the friendship which Augus- 
tus had for Herod the Great, that, willing first to 
try how his children would behave, he postponed 
the petition of the Jewish nation, and divided the 
kingdom among three of them. The one half of it 
he bestowed on Archelaus, with an express charge 
that he should be gentle to his subjects^. He gave 
him the title of ethnarch, with a promise that, if he 
behaved worthily, he should have that of king con- 
ferred on him^. But he, neglecting the charge given 
him, was cruel, and after a reign of nine years, being 
accused, was banished to Vienna, a city of Gaul^. 
Then Augustus literally answered the petition which 
the Jews offered to him nine years before. He did 
not prefer any other of Herod's children to the va- 
cant ethnarchy, but joined it to the province of Sy- 
ria. He nominated Quirinus, a person of the highest 
dignity, president of Syria, and sent him into Ju- 
daea, not only to confiscate the goods of Archelaus, 
and make a Roman census^, i. e. a survey and en- 
rolment of the estate and goods belonging to each 
person ; but, as I take it, to settle the new govern- 
ment, and give laws to the Jews^ ; i. e. to prescribe 

^ "iva iitieiKZi; a.vacrTpe(f)'/jTai 'Kpo(; avTov<;, Antiq. 1. iy, C. ult. §. 2. 
p. 788. 1. 12. 

3 Ibid. c. 13. §. 4, pr. et de Bell, Jud. 1. 2. c. 6. §. 3, pr. 

'' De Bell. Jud. 1. 2, c. 7. §. 3. Antiq. 1. 17. c. ult. §. 2. 

•^ Antiq. 1. ly, fin. et I. 18, pr. 

'' As Pompey and Gabini^^ had done before him, and as the 
general, with the advice of the decent legati, were wont to do 
under the ancient republic. 


what should be the authority of their magistrates, 
how far they should use their own laws, what should 
be the power of the Roman governor among them, 
and whatever other particulars he should think 
might conduce to the public weal. Coponius is sent 
with him to be tljeir governor ; and because he was 
one of the first instances (it may be the very first 
instance) of a prociif^ator Ccesaris, to whom was 
committed merum imperium^, Josephus expressly 
tells us, that the power he received from Caesar 
reached even to the taking away of life ^. 

I have already observed to you that the governors 
of provinces were judges in all cases of sedition and 
treason against the Roman state, and in this respect 
had power over the freest countries^ even such as 
Massilia and Nemausus. This power therefore we 
may be sure was in the procurator of Judaea ; and 
it is very probable his power extended to the pun- 
ishment of all public crimes. It is possible also 
there might lie an appeal to him from the Jewish 
courts, or he might have an authority given him to 
call whatever causes he pleased before himself^. 
These things are uncertain to us now, because we 
have no account left of the settlement made by Qui- 
rinus. I have fully proved to you that the Romans 

« Probably also the first instance of a governor, under another 
that was governor of the province, who had the power of the 
sword. For Judsea was annexed to the province of Syria, and 
the procurator of Judaea was under the command of the governor 
of Syria. 

^ Mej^p* ToC KTelviiv Xa[3cav irapa. tov Kuio-apoi; t^ovalav. De Bell. Jud. 

1. 2. c. 8. §. I, pr. 

s Thus much seems implied in that expression of Josephus be- 
fore quoted, 'H-y/jao/xei'O? 'lovtalcov t?} «V» ircl(7iv i^ovalqt.. Antiq. I. 1 8. 
C. 1. §. I. 

N 2 


did not every where make the same settlements ; that 
in some places the laws of the country were more 
fully observed, in other places there was a greater 
mixture of the Roman laws ; in some countries the 
Roman governor had a greater, in some a less power. 
What the precise bounds were in Judaea we are al- 
together ignorant. But that Augustus did grant to 
the Jews the use of their own laws, and that this 
was continued to them by the succeeding emperors, 
is fully evident from many passages in Josephus. 


Passages from, Josephus and Philo, proving that the Ro- 
mans did grant to the Jews the execution of their oxen 
lazes even in capital cases. 

The high priest Ananus, in the speech he makes 
to the people to stir them up against the zealots, 
has this expression : " For if we must suit words to 
" things, one shall perchance find that the Romans 
" have been the establishers and confirmers of our 
" laws, and that our enemies are those within '\" 
With what propriety could the Romans be called 
the establishers or the confirmers of the Jewish laws, 
if they took from them the execution ? Every one 
knows, that, unless penalties are executed, laws are 
useless. Could those who rendered them useless, 
who indeed destroyed them, be fitly and properly 
called (SelSaiuTag, the confirmers or establishers of 
them? And it is well worth the remarking, that 
Ananus was at this time afraid of speaking in com- 
mendation of the Romans ; that what he says is ut- 

' Kai yap dv d irolixov,; tt7 toTi; ■npdyfji.afji xa,' /cXy^o-fj< i^ap/Mi^ftv, 
Tuxci av ivpoi rii; 'PufAaciOVi jA-ev VJIMV jSe^aiwra^ ruv vof^uv, TroXe/xioy? St 

Tol? fviov. Bell. Jiid. 1. 6. c. 6. §. 2. p. 1173. 1. 32. 


tered with the utmost caution ; and that he durst 
not have said it, had it not been an acknowledged 

Titus, in the speech he makes to the two tyrants, 
Simon and John, after the temple was burnt, and 
great part of the city taken, laying before them the 
great kindness of the Romans to the Jewish nation, 
says^ " First, we gave you the country to possess, 
" and set over you kings of your own people. After- 
" wards" (plainly referring to the time we are speak- 
ing of, when Augustus sent a Roman governor 
among them, afterwards) "we preserved to you 
" your own country laws, and permitted you to 
" live, not only with regard to yourselves, but with 
" regard to others also, as you would ^." 

' Totyapovv ifxcci sic^yeipe Kara '^ufAO-luv ij Vaj/.a.iei3V (piXai/OpccT^icc' oi 
TcpSrov jnei/ vfjuv t^v re ^upay eSo/xev vey-fO-Oai, Ka) ^aa-i'Ae7<; of^ocpvXovt; eVe- 
arT^a-af/.iv, e-rcetra rot? irarpiovi vlj^ovq iTV]p-q(rai/.fi/, Kat ^^v ov f^ovoi/ Koff 
iavTovi;, aKka KoCl rov(; aXKovi iTcerpiipaf/.ev ui; e^ovXeirde' to 8e f^iyLorrov, 
ZaufJiCi'koyeiv re i/fjuv eV* tw ©eo), koI avaOr^fAccrct, a-vX'Aeyetv i'7rtTpeipa[/,€i', 
Kot rol(; TavTa ipepovTaf ovre €vn6fTfj<ra.j/.iv, ovTt iKa3\va■a.[^€V, 'Iv •t\u.a>v 
yivtiffBi -rcXova-iuiTepoi iroXei^iot, ko,) Tiapaa-Kivcca-Tjo-de roTq iji/.eTepoic %p'(jfAao-i 
Ka6' vjiA.Zv. De Bell. Jud. 1. 6. c. 6. §. 2. p. 1284, fin. 

•^ The Jews, by the distinction of meats and drinks, and other 
rites, were a people wholly differing from the rest of the world ; 
and no doubt this clause has a reference to all the condescensions 
and compliances which the Romans made to them upon the ac- 
count of their singular customs ; such as Pilate's going out to 
them, because they were afraid of being defiled by entering into 
a heathen's house, his sending away the military ensigns with the 
images of Caesar upon them from Jerusalem to Csesarea, and all 
the governors before him entering Jerusalem with ensigns that 
had no images on them, Antiq. 1. 18. c. 4. §. i. and his remov- 
ing the bucklers without images to Csesarea, Phil. Leg. ad Caium, 
p. 1034, B. But doubtless it refers chiefly to the power the Ro- 
mans gave them to execute their laws upon others. For it is 
observable, that this part of Titus's speech, in setting forth the 
N 3 


This last clause shews that they suffered the 
Jewish laws to take effect, not upon Jews only, but 
also upon foreigners ; and is explained by Titus him- 
self in another speech : " Did not ye," says he to 
the tyrant John, and those that were with him, 
" Did not ye Jews set up these bars to fence off the 
" holy place ? Have ye not erected pillars herein at 
" certain distances, engraven with Grecian and our 
" letters, which enjoin that no man should pass these 
" bounds ? And have not we permitted you to put 
" to death those who go beyond, even though it 
" were a Roman ^ ?" There were several cases in 
which the Jewish laws reached the lives of foreigners 
who dwelt among them, which the Romans could 
not think merited death ; such as idolatry, blas- 
phemy, passing beyond the court of the Gentiles 
into that of the Jews in the temple, and some 
others. Notwithstanding, even in these cases, as it 

kindness of the Romans to the Jewish nation, rises from the be- 
ginning to the end. They did not take away the country from 
them, as they might have done by right of conquest, but left 
them the free possession of it, and placed kings of their own 
country over them. Afterwards, when they requested to be no 
longer under kings, thinking they might have a more free use of 
their own laws under a Roman governor, the Romans preserved 
to them the free use of their own laws, and permitted them to 
live not only among themselves, but with others also, as they 
would, i. e. that their customs and laws should take place, not 
only with Jews, but with foreigners also ; that they should either 
yield to them, or be punished by them. Nay, what is yet more, 
suffered them to collect a holy tribute and offerings from all parts 
of the empire, and send it to Jerusalem without molestation, 
which in the event proved the enriching their enemies, and arm- 
ing them against themselves with their own money. 

TK 7t. De Bell. Jud. 1, 6, c. 2. §. 4. p. 1269, pr. 


appears to me from the latter clause of the first of 
these speeches of Titus, the Romans indulged them 
in the execution of their own laws. In the last- 
mentioned case he expressly tells us they did, and 
that even though the person who transgressed were 
a Roman. I have before observed to you, that the 
freest countries had not power given them over Ro- 
mans : that the Rhodians, Lycians, and Cyzicenians 
lost their liberties by putting Romans to death. 
Herein then was a peculiar privilege granted to the 
Jews above all other free people, that they were 
permitted in some cases to take away even the lives 
of Romans themselves. How much more then had 
they this power over other foreigners ? And if they 
were allowed to execute their laws upon foreigners 
in capital cases, can any one doubt that they were 
suffered to execute them upon their own people? 
Philo tells us certain death was decreed against 
those Jews who went beyond the bounds prescribed 
them in the temple™. And king Agrippa, in the 
letter he writes to the emperor Caius, informing him 
that the high priest entered once a year into the 
holy of holies, on the day called the fast only, adds, 
" And if at any time any one, I say, not of the 
" other Jews, but even of the priests, not of the 
" lowest of them, but of those who have obtained 
" the order immediately next to the high priest, 
" should enter either by himself or with the high 
" priest ; and, what is more, if the high priest him- 
" self should go in two days in the year, or even 

"■' YlfpirroTfpa, 8e ko.) i^aipeToi; ea-Ttv airo7i; UTraa-iv ^ itipt to lepov 
arvovb-^. TeKjA.-fipiov he ixeyKnov, ddcvocroq aiiapMTyirot; upi(nai KctTot, tuv tli; 
Tdlt; evTo? •nept^o'Aovi nccpeKBovTuv. ^(xov-rai yap el<; rov(; i^arepu tov? wav- 
TccxiOev -ncivrai; ruv oi^otOyuv. Leg. ad Caium, ]). I02 2, fin. 
N 4 


" thrice or four times on the fast-day, he suffers 
" death inevitable"." 

Titus, in the i)lace before quoted, affirms, " We 
" have preserved to you your own country laws." 
Are not the penalties enjoined one necessary part of 
the laws? Are they not, indeed, that which ani- 
mates and gives life to them ? If then the Romans 
allowed not the Jews to execute the punishments 
threatened, with what truth could it be said that 
they preserved to them their laws ? Josephus asserts 
the same thing, in a speech he makes to the be- 
sieged, declaring, that even to that time their laws 
had been the care of the Romans°. And in another 
speech, which he makes to them by the command 
of Titus, tells them, " The Romans demand the ac- 
" customed duty which our fathers paid to their 
" fathers ; and, obtaining this, they will neither waste 
" the city nor touch the sacred things. They grant 
" you that your children, wives, and parents p should 
" be free, and that you should possess your own 
" estates, and they preserve your sacred laws^." 

" K^v apcc Ti(; Ttov, ov Xiju t£v a'AAuv 'lov^aluv, aKXa. koI tuv Ufiuv, 
(jiy^i Twv la-TaTuv, aXKa rSv Trjv €V$V(; //.iTa tov itpuTOV rd^iv €»Xv;p^«T&)v, y} 
Ka$' avTW Tj /wex' eVe/von a-vvtKreXdri, j/mKKov §€ k^v avToi o ocpy^nffvi; Si/o-iv 
Yj/Afpaii Tcv eTonj, ■/) Kcti t^ ainr) Tpl<, ij Koi ■ztrpa.Kn; e»V</joiT7j(7|), OdvaTdv 
a-napctiTfirov imoiAevei. Leg. ad CaiuiH, p. IO35, pr. 

" Ot /At'xp* vvv /vTjSovTa* t£v TjfAertpuv i/o/jluv. De Bell. Jucl. 1. 6. C. 2. 
§. I. p. 1267. 1. 19. 

1' 'PufxaiQi §€ TOV (Tw^S'/) ^aajjMV aWoiifftv, ov ol fiarepii iji^Zv roTf tKitvasy 
iTctTpcitn TtapetT'Xfiv, Kat tovtov Tvy/twn;, oine itopOoiKTi iriv woAiv, oi/re \l/avov(Tt 
Tuv dyluv. Zihoacri S' VjM.?v TaXXa ytvedi t€ tXtvOfptXi;, Kex,) KTyjO'd^ ta,i 
lavTwv vifjieadai, Koi toI? lepovi vo'/xof^ au^civat. De BelLJud. 1. 5. C. 9. 
§. 4. p. 1243. 1. 36. 

'I So I ihink Josephus himseli" explains the word ytvioii in this 
very speech, p. 1244. 1. 33. Ttvtcit; yoijv vfji.eT(pa<; olKT(ipccT€, koI itpo 


And Titus himself professes before God, '' that he 
" had offered them peace, and the use of their own 
" laws'"." To what purpose is all this said, and what 
good effect could it possibly be supposed to have 
upon the besieged Jews, if they knew at the same 
time that the Romans did not allow them that 
which is the spirit and energy of all laws, viz. the 
execution of them ? Would not this appear to them 
a downright mockery ? a putting them in mind of 
the servitude they had hitherto been under to the 
Romans, who, although they openly professed to al- 
low them the use of their own laws, deprived them 
of that which is absolutely necessary to their execu- 
tion, i. e. inflicting the penalties annexed to them ? 


Ohjections answered. 

It may possibly be objected, that Judas the Ga- 

lilaean complained that the Jews were deprived of 

their liberty when Augustus sent Quirinus to annex 

Juda3a to the province of Syria, and enrol their 

l(^B(X':f/.Zv iKci(Tta> yeveaOw tckiu, Kcii yvi/'i], Koi yovu^, ov^ avaKuan Kocra, 

^ KocTaap 8' aweXoyeiTO, Kai ivepi rovrov tZ &eZ, (pd(TKav, napa, //.ev 
aitToZ 'lofSa/oi? elffivviv kou avtovojAiav icpoieivetrBai, Koi itdvTuv df/.v^a-riav 

Tuv TeToX/A'/jjW.e'j'Wv. De Bell. Jud. 1. 6. c. 3. §. 5. This passage alone 
is little short of a demonstration that the Jews did obtain of Au- 
gustus the avTovciAia,, or free use of their own laws, which they 
petitioned for. Titus, in apologizing for himself to the God of 
the Jews for having reduced them to so great an extremity that a 
woman eat her ovvn son, declares that he offered them peace and 
avroyofxiav, as well as an amnesty of all that was past. Is it to be 
imagined, that when he had subdued their country, and laid such 
close siege to Jerusalem, he would grant them better terms than 
they enjoyed before their revolt ? 


estates^ But what liberty did Judas mean? the 
liberty of executing their own laws? No, but an 
enthusiastic liberty of calling no man master, ac- 
knowledging no other ruler than God, and paying 
no taxes ^ Josephus expressly calls this man's opin- 
ion madness", and a change of their ancient laws 
and institutions ^ ; and informs us, that it was the 
beginning of a new sect among the Jews, the pre- 
valency of which sect at length ended in the de- 
struction of their city and temple y. Some of the 
Jews, who gave too much ear to the doctrine taught 
by this man, and his companion Sadoc the Pharisee, 
and others, who knew not what a Roman census or 
enrolment was, were at first uneasy ; but, being per- 

* 'HireiyfTo liii anoTrda-ei, Tqv re a.TioriiA-q<Tiv ovlh aKKo 7) avrtKpvi; Zov- 
Xelav im^fpeiv Xiyoi/Tre^, kcc) t^? iXevOeptaq eV ai/TtX'ljypei i:apaKaXcZvTe(; ^o 
eOvoi;. Antiq. 1. 18. c. i. §. I. p. 792. 1. 5. 

' Mo'vov y^yeiA-ova koc) SftrTroTTjv tov &€w vTreiArjcpio'i, 6aya.Tuv Te Uta^ 
vntoy.€veiv ita-p'tiXKayfAivoci; iv IXly^ TiBevrat, koI a-vyyevuv rij^uplocq kuI 
(piAuv, titep ToZ /AijSeva avOpwnov itpoa-ayopiveiv Seo-Tro'rijj'. Ibid. §. 6. 

p. 794. 1. 6. 'lovSa? eli; ac-noa-raa-tv ev^-ye toik; iiny^uplovc,, kuki^uv, el 

(bopov re 'Pa>/Aaioj? reXeTv vTio[/.evov(7t, koI [/.era, rov @eov (iKXOvai &v7;toi'? 
Seo-TTOTa?. De Bell. Jud. 1. 2. c. 8. §. i. 

" 'Avo/f re rrj evreZdev rjp^aro vo(re7v ro eOvo^. Antiq. 1. 18. C. 1. §. 6. 
p. 794. 1. 14. 

" OStw? apa. Yj ruv itarpiav Kiy/juii; kou //.era^oAvj (/.ijaXai; ej^ti ponai; 
rov aicoXovftevov to?? <rvveK6ovatv. Ibid. §. I. p. 792- 1- 30- 

y 'He Se oSt6<, (XO^jo-T');? lUa^ alpea-eut;, svZev rciq aKkoi^ •npoa-eoiKui;. 
De Bell. Jud. 1. 2. C. 8. §. I. Ei'ye kcu 'lo^Sa^ Koi SaSSofKO? rerdprijv 
(j)iXoao({H(iiV e-ne'KTaKrov vi(mv eyeipavre<;, Kcct ravrri<; epaarZv evTropTjQevre^, 
Tipoi re TO i:a,pov Oopv^uv t^v itoXire'tav ive%Kri<yav, kcc) rav alBii; kolkuv 
Ka,reikv\iporb}v p'^ct? e(\>vrevffa,vro ru dawrfiei wporepov (piKo(ro(f>tai T0«ao-8e. 
Antiq. 1. 18. c. i. §. i. p. 792. 1. 32. Vid. et 1. 15 — 30. Mexpt ^ 
Kcti ro lepov rov @edv evel/juuro %vpt ruv 'Ko'key.luv ^Se ^ a-rda-n:, 1. 29. 
Ariirrijpiuv Ze jx-eyd'Aoiv eVifleVetri Koci ZiacpdopaTi uvZpuv raiv itpuraiv, 1. 20. 

The Latrones and Sicarii were of this sect. Vid. de Bell. Jud. 1. 7. 
c. 8. §. I, 2. et c. 10, §. I. 


suaded by Joazar the high priest, they came into it 
without further hesitation^. 

It is further objected, that although the Jews 
were allowed the liberty of their own laws, yet the 
execution of them was in the hands of the Romans ; 
that the Roman governor sat as judge, and by the 
advice of assessors, skilled in the Jewish laws, gave 

In answer to this, it is fully evident from what 
has been already said, that where the Romans al- 
lowed a people the liberty of their own laws, they 
also allowed them their own magistrates. Thus was 
it not only in the freest places, such as Nemausus 
and Massilia, but where the liberty granted was 
more restrained, as in Asia and Sicily, which ap- 
pears from the express words of Tully, that have 
been already quoted ''. That thus also it was in Ju- 

^ Judas stirred up the Jews to rebellion, telling them that the 
Roman census would bring nothing less than plain servitude upon 
them ; and had he gone no further than this, his sentiments were 
exactly the same with those of the senate themselves, which we 
have before quoted from Livy. 0< Se, Katitep to kolt ap%a.i; iv 8e<v^ 
{bepcvTet; t^v eirt ra?? aTCOypacpaTi; aKpoaaiv, VTCOKaTe^ria-ay rov elq it'Kiov 
evavriQvcrOai, Tre/travTOi; avrovi; rov ap^iepeu^ 'lua^dpov, Koi ol j^ev, 

^TT*i0€VT6? ToS 'luex.'^a.pov tSv Aoyuv, atceTljAwv y^p'fii/.a.ra, fx'/jSev ivhonx- 
aavrei, Antiq. 1. 1 8. c. I. §. 1 . p. 791, fin. 

a Huber. Diss. 1. i. c. 5. §.7. p. 29, 30. Lardn. Cred. vol. i. 
p. 152, fin. 

^ Quod civis Romanus a Siculo petit, Siculus judex datur, &c. 
in Ver. 1. 2. §. 13. Sibi libertatem Graeci censent datam, ut Grseci 
inter se disceptent suis legibus. Ad Attic. 1. 6. ep. 1. p. 909. a fin. 
Graeci exultant quod peregrinis judicibus utuntur, p. 909. b. pr. 
Onmes suis legibus et judiciis usee ainovoiAiav adeptse revixerunt. 
Ibid. ep. 2. p. 911. a. med. I think it is evident from these last 
words of Tully, that unless they had the administration of the 
laws in their own hands, i. e. had their own judges as well as 


daea, even in capital cases, Pilate himself is witness. 
He says to tlie Jewish magistrates in the case of our 

their own laws, the Greeks did not esteem it to be av-7ovo[/,ia. And 
I doubt not but the same may be made fully to appear from the 
use of the word in Greek authors. Nothing is more certain than 
that the possessing airovoiAia. is of the same import as vo'/aoj? %^^<7^m 
Tot^ ItUii. But how can a people be said to have the use of their 
own laws that have not the administration of them in their own 
hands ? If others administer them, it is possible, indeed, the people 
may have the benefit of them, but they cannot be said to have 
the use of them ; it is others that use them in their behalf. AVhen 
Polybius says, 'AireSw/cav Se /cal ^oiKUiiva-i to itdrpiov itoAt-rivuM, Livy 
expresses it thus, Et ut legibus antiquis uterentur, permissum. No 
one will dispute that the Greek of Polybius implies the admini- 
stration of their laws. Livy judges it to be equivalent to say, the 
use of their laws. Vid. Excerpt. Leg. 36. p. 844. fin. et Liv. 1. 38. 
c. 39. It is also certain that the words iXevdepio, and av-tQ>oiA.ia are 
promiscuously used by Greek authors as signifying one and the 
same thing. Thus Diodorus Siculus, what he calls ai-rovofAiav, 
p. 296, A. he calls iKevdeptav, p. 297, pr. And it is certain that 
he meant hereby that the Sardinians had their own magistrates as 
well as their own laws. And Josephus, when he tells us that the 
Jews petitioned that their country might be annexed to the pro- 
vince of Syria, because they earnestly desired avTovo/Aiav, expresses 
it in one place by the word iXevdepia,, fAuXiaTo. ywev iistdviAovvTe^ iktv- 
Oeptcci;, Kcu vtto 'Pu/xaiuv <7rpaTrjyZ ttiayfitxi. Antiq. 1. 17. C. 9. §. 4. 
prop. fin. One article of the peace after the second Punic war 
was, according to Polybius, that the Carthaginians e'fieo-* kou vo^oic, 
xpw^a,i toii llioii. This in Livy is expressed thus : Ut liberi legi- 
bus suis viverent. Vid. Polyb. 1. 15. p. 705. Liv. 1. 30. c. 37. 
That the Romans granted the privilege of having their own ma- 
gistrates to all those places to which they granted iXevdepM, or to 
be free states, is fully evident from the words of Tully before 
quoted : Omitto jurisdictionem in liberam civitatem, contra leges 
scnatusque consulta. In Pison. And when it is said in the places 
above cited that liberty was taken away from the Lycians, Rho- 
dians, and Cy/icenians, because they had imprisoned and put to 
death Roman citizens, did not this liberty consist in having their 
own magistrates as well as their own laws ? Whv were the an- 


Saviour, Take ye him, and judge him according to 
your law''. And afterwards, the Jews not being 
able to prove the sedition and treason of which they 
had accused him, to the satisfaction of Pilate, he 
says, Take ye him, and crucify him : for I find no 
fault in him^. I, having heard the cause, cannot 
perceive that he has committed any crime worthy 
of death. If he be an offender against your law, 
take him and punish him yourselves, as you think 
he deserves. 

There was so great a difference between the Ro- 
man and Jewish laws, that Tacitus avers they were 
just contrary the one to the other®. And it is very 
certain that many things were by the Jewish laws 
made capital crimes, which were by the Romans 
esteemed most innocent ; such in particular as sab- 
bath-breaking, enticing to idolatry, worshipping the 
host of heaven, the having a familiar spirit, or being 
a wizard, and blasphemy ^ And there were other 
things punished with death by the Jews, which, al- 
though not reckoned innocent, yet met with a more 
favourable treatment among the Romans ; such as 

cifent municipia said to be more free than the colonies, (vid. Aul. 
Gell. 1. i6. c. 13.) but because they had their own magistrates 
and their own laws ? How otherwise could they have been re- 
publics distinct and separate from the Roman people ? Vid. Fast. 
in voc. mu7iiceps. 

'■' John xviii. 31. '^ John xix. 6. 

® Moses, quo sibi in posterum gentem firmaret, novos ritus 
contrariosque cseteris mortalibus tradidit. Profana illic omnia, 
quae apud nos sacra ; rursus concessa apud illos, quae nobis in- 
cesta. Hist. 1. 5. n. 4. 

I" Numb. XV. 35. Deut. xiii. 5 — 9. xvii. 2 — 5. Levit. xx. 27. 
xxiv. 16. Misna, tit. Sanhed. c. 7. Vid. Seld. de Syned. 1. 2. c. 13. 
§. 4. p. 1501. 


incest, adultery, sodomy, &c.s Is it in the least pro- 
bable that a Roman governor would put such laws 
as these in execution, so directly contradictory to 
his o\A^n sentiments of things ? When the Jews told 
Pilate, that by their law Jesus ought to be put to 
death, because he made himself the Son of God^\ 
we find that it made not the least impression on 
him to the disadvantage of our Saviour. He was 
far from thinking this a crime deserving of death. 
When therefore he was prevailed with, against his 
own conscience, to execute him, it was not for any 
offence against the Jewish law, but for the pre- 
tended crime of sedition and treason against the 
Roman state. In like manner, when a Roman sol- 
dier had torn the sacred books, adding blasphemy 
and scoffs to what he was doing, Cumanus the go- 
vernor would fain have screened him from the pun- 
ishment denounced against such in the law of Mo- 
ses, not judging it a crime that merited deaths 
These instances sufficiently confirm the foregoing 
reasoning, and make it fully evident, that had the 
execution of the Jewish laws been left to the Ro- 
man governor, the punishments denounced would in 
many, I think I may say most cases, have been 
wholly omitted, or very much lessened. 

The instance last mentioned may possibly be 
thought by some ^ a proof that the Jews had not 

K Levit. XX. lo — 16. Deut. xxii. 13 — 21. Seld. de Synetl. 
p. 1 50 1. 1. 38. §. 2, 3. ff. ad Leg. Jul. de Adult. Voet. in Pand. 
1. 48. tit. 5. n. 20. Vinn. in Instit. de pub. Judic. §. 4. n. 2. 
Paul! Sent. 1. 2. tit. 26. §. 1 2 — 15. cum notis ; et 1. 5. §. 4. n. 10. 
in Scult. Jurisp. vetus. 

'' John xix. 7. ' Jos. Antiq. 1. 20. c. 4. §. 4. 

^ Vid. Lard. Cred. vol. i. p. 159. 


the power of inflicting death. It may be said, that 
even in the case of blasphemy itself they were forced 
to apply to the Roman governor for justice against 
the offender, and could not execute it themselves. 

We know the Jews were indulged the peculiar 
privilege of putting even Romans to death, if they 
went into the temple beyond the court of the Gen- 
tiles ; and should we suppose they were permitted 
to do the same in case of blasphemy^, and all other 
transgressions of the Mosaic law, to which was an- 
nexed that severe penalty'", the case before us does 
not in the least contradict that supposition. For 
the offender was a soldier" upon duty, sent on pur- 
pose to plunder the town, where the sacred books 
were taken by him. How was it possible for the 
Jewish magistrates to apprehend him ? How was it 
possible to obtain justice any otherwise than by the 
permission of the Roman governor, who was general 
of the forces, and had employed him among the rest 
in this expedition ? The reasons that are given as 
prevailing with the governor to comply with the re- 
quest of the Jews herein, and put the soldier to 
death, evince that it was not done out of regard to 

' Levit. xxiv. i6. 

"^ Such as idolatry, incest, and the eating any part of a beast 
while it is yet living. Gemarah. Sanh. c. 7. §. 5. in excerptis Coc- 
cei. Maimon. de Regibus, et rerum earum bellicis, c. 10. published 
by Dr. Prideaiix under the title of De Jure Pauperis et Peregrini, 
p. 144, &c. 

" The offender, being a soldier, probably was a Roman citizen. 
We know that other, even the freest nations, were not permitted 
to punish Roman citizens. Whether it were granted to the Jews 
to do it in all cases wherein their laws reached foreigners, or 
whether they were allowed it in the single case only mentioned 
by Titus, we are wholly uncertain. 


their laws, and in order to put them in execution ; 
far from it. Had he not been afraid of a general 
insurrection of the Jewish nation, the soldier had 
remained unhurt, and the law against blasphemy 
wholly neglected". 

It is very remarkable how earnest the Jews were 
to have this man punished. Josephus says they 
were struck at the news of what the soldier had 
done, as if the whole country had been set on fire ; 
that they flocked together to Caesarea, where Cuma- 
nus the governor then was, as though called toge- 
ther by the sound of an instrument, or the voice of 
the common crier ^ ; that they declared to him they 
colud not bear to live while their country laws were 
so basely treated^. Can it be thought that a people 
so zealous for the honour of their laws would have 
sat still, if the execution of them in all capital cases 
had been wholly taken from their own magistrates, 
and placed in foreigners^, who, they could not but 
know, from their education under laws so contradic- 
tory to the Jewish, would be very remiss and negli- 
gent in punishing such who transgressed them ? 

" 'O KovfAavoi, BejVa? fjir) ndkiv veuTepiaae to irX^fla^, wfA.^ov'kfvaa.vTccv 
Kcu ruv (pl'AccVy Tov ivv^p't<rayTa to?V vifMn; (rrpuriuTrjv •neMKia-af fitavtrt 
TTjv a-Taa-iv Ik Bivrepov ixeKkovtrav i^ccTtreaSat, AlUi(j. 1. 20. C. 4. §. 4, 

P 'lovhcitoi 8e, wi oK'^q ainaiq t^? xupa<; Kara^Xfye/o-^j?, crvvtj^i/fiijo-av, Kcti 
KaOdnep opydvai Ttvj ttj Scjo-jSaj/xov/^ <xw€'KKOjjiivot, el^ %v K-tipvyfMi. itavTeq 
€t<; KaKTapetav tic) Koviascvov a-vvtipa[/.ov. De Bell. Jlld. 1. 2. C. 12. §.2. 

1. 38. I suppose Josephus means by K-^pvyfjLa nothing more than 
the news of what had happened, which, at tlie very first hearing, 
drew the people together to Caesarea, as though it had been the 
voice of a common crier. 

'I ZJ/V yap oix VTifjiAtviiv Tuv iraTpiam ainoi^ ovtu •7:6piiJ,3pt<TfAjvuv. Antiq. 
1. 20. c. 4. §. 4. 



Other passages from Josephus, proving that the Jexoish 
magistrates had the power of putting persons to death 
in the execution of their own lazvs. 

There is in the History of Josephus a plain 
and undeniable instance of the Jewish magistrates 
convening persons before them, sentencing them to 
death, and putting that sentence in execution. But, 
because there are exceptions made to it, from some 
of the circumstances attending it, I will lay the 
whole passage before the reader, that he may be the 
better able to form a judgment on what is said. 

" The younger Ananus, who was made high 
" priest, was exceeding bold and daring. He was 
" of the sect of the Sadducees, who are cruel above 
" all the Jews in matters of judicature. Ananus, 
" being such a sort of a person, and thinking he had 
" a convenient opportunity, because Festus was dead, 
" and Albinus was yet on the road, summons a coun- 
" cil, or court of judges, and bringing before them 
" (the brother of Jesus who is called Christ, his name 
" was) James, and some others, he accused them as 
" transgressors of the law, and delivered them to be 
** stoned. But such in the city who were esteemed 
" the most moderate and equitable, who best under- 
" stood the laws, and were most punctual in observ- 
" ing them, were displeased at this, and sent pri- 
" vately to king Agrippa, desiring him to write to 
" Ananus, that he would no more do such things as 
" these ; for that he had not done this first thing 
" rightly. And some of them met Albinus in his 
" way from Alexandria, and inform him that it was 
" not lawful for Ananus to summon a council with- 


" out his consent. For this reason Albinus writes 
" angrily to Ananus, threatening to punish him : 
" and king Agrippa took from him the high-priest- 
" hood*"." This was Agrippa jun. king of Batanaea, 
Trachonitis, and several adjacent countries, who had 
no other authority in Judaea than that it was per- 
mitted him by the Roman emperor to confer or take 
away the high-priesthood as he pleased. 

The passage I have now produced is said to be a 
proof that the Jewish magistrates had not the power 
of putting persons to death under a Roman go- 
vernor; because Ananus chose the time of a va- 
cancy, wlien, the governor being dead, the new one 
was not yet arrived, as the fittest opportunity to 
gratify his cruel disposition. He was blamed for 
what he did by those who were most exact in their 
knowledge and observance of the laws. It is ex- 
pressly said he had no authority to act as he did. 
He was threatened for it by the new governor Al- 
binus, and was actually punished by king Agrippa, 
who deprived him of his high office ^ 

The truth of these several circumstances I readily 
acknowledge, but am so far from thinking they prove 
what they are brought for, that some of them appear 
plainly to me to evince the contrary. It is said, 
" Those in Jerusalem who were most moderate, and 
" who were accurate observers of the laws," (which 
words, I take it, are a periphrastical description of 
the^ Pharisees,) "were angry at what was done." 

'' Antiq, 1. 20, c. 8. §. i. 1. 34. 

" Lard. Cred. vol. i. p. 156, 157. 
'0(701 If eSoVow imeiKiararoi tZv kutoc ttji' tt^'^jv eJvaj, Ka) la. irepl 
Tol^ vo'/Aoi;^ a,Kfi^e7(;, ^apeeof Tivtyxav tVt toj/t^. Antiq. 1. 20. C. 8. §. i. 
p. 897. I. 2. AWui rt Koti (pva^ei tcpo^ ra? KoXdcfK;, iitiftKUi iYfivvn o» 


Why ? Because Ananus had not herein acted opBoog, 
rightly, i. e. according to the Mosaic law. For so 
they write to king Agrippa, who was a Jew, and 
well skilled in the Jewish laws and customs". The 
Christian converts from among the Jews, and more 
especially those who resided in the land of Judaea, 
were at this time strict observers of the Mosaic 
laws''. And James, the brother of our Lord, was 
called the Just, most probably because of his re- 
markable adherence to and punctual observance of 
those lawsy. How was it possible to condemn him, 
and such as he was, to death, without a mani- 
fest violation of the law of Moses ? This no doubt 
was one reason which inclined Agrippa to deprive 
Ananus of the high-priesthood. Ananus chose the 
opportunity when there was no Roman governor in 
Judaea as the fittest for his purpose. And why did 
he esteem it such ? Because he knew, that had he 
stayed till the new governor arrived, all those who 
were friends of the apostle, and of the others he put 
to death, together with those who were of a milder 
and more moderate disposition, would intercede with 
the governor to stop his proceedings. We read 
in the Acts of the Apostles, that the Pharisees, by 
their moderation, more than once delivered the 
Christians from the more violent counsels of the 

It is very remarkable, that the persons who went 

^apia-atoi. Ibid. 1. 13. C. 10, §. 6. p. 587, prop. fin. O* Tre/jl ia 
•nuTpia voi/.i[^a Iokoikti tuv aKkuv a,Kpij3eigi, hiacpepeiv. Vita, §. 38. p. 923, 
pr. Vid. et de Bell. Jud. 1. i. c. 5. §. 2. et 1. 2. c. 8. §. 14, pr. 

" Acts xxvi. 3. ^ Acts xxi. 21 — 24. 

>' Euseb. E. H. 1. 2. c. i. et 23. Gal. ii. 12. 

^ Acts V. 33, 34, &c. and xxiii. 6, 7, &c. 
o 2 


to meet Albinus, the new governor, tell him that 
Ananus had no authority to summon a council with- 
out liis leave ; plainly intimating, that with his con- 
sent he had this power ; which thing alone deter- 
mines the whole dispute. They do not say, as they 
must have said, had they spoken to the purpose for 
which this is alleged, " The Jewish magistrates are 
" not permitted to condemn and execute criminals 
" in capital causes ;" but, " The high priest is not 
" permitted to call the Jewish magistrates or judges 
" together without the consent of the governor." 
This probably was one part of the settlement made 
by Quirinus, that the Jewish sanhedrim should not 
meet without leave of the Roman governor ; and it 
is not unlikely that every Roman governor, at his 
first coming into the province, gave a general license 
to the high priest, and to the prince of the sanhe- 
drim, to summon the court whenever they saw oc- 
casion, and this to continue the whole time of his 
administration, unless he at any time sent a special 

If the Jewish magistrates had not ordinarily the 
power to execute capital punishments under the 
Romans, would it not have been expressly men- 
tioned as an aggravation of the guilt of which Ana- 
nus is accused ? How could it well have been omit- 
ted ? Can we think that those persons who were so 
zealous to meet the new governor in his way from 
Alexandria, on purpose to inform him how very 
much contrary to the settlement made by the Ro- 
mans Ananus had acted, would suppress that which 
in truth was the greatest breach hereof? Would 
they have contented themselves with saying that it 
was not lawful for him to call together the council, 


or court of judges, without the governor's consent, 
and not have added, that it was much more unlawful 
for them, when met together, to condemn persons 
to capital punishments, and put their sentence in 
execution ? that even the governor himself could 
not grant them a power to do this ? Certainly they 
would have added something of this kind, if the 
Romans had not permitted the Jewish magistrates 
to execute their own laws ordinarily in capital cases. 
The reason why Albinus sent an angry and threaten- 
ing letter to Ananus is, most evidently, because he 
did not wait for his license. Not that the executing 
capital punishments was a thing in general forbidden 
them by the Romans, but that he ought not to have 
summoned the sanhedrim without the governor's 
previous consent. This determined Agrippa to take 
from him the high priesthood : for had he kept in a 
person who had made such an encroachment on the 
authority of the Roman governor, and was thereby 
become obnoxious, he might himself have been in 
no small danger of losing the privilege he had of 
conferring the high-priesthood. 

Does not Josephus here affirm of the Sadducees, 
that they are cruel above all the Jews in matters of 
judicature^? They had been now, first and last, 
fifty years under Roman governors ^. Is it probable 
he would have used such an expression as this, if 
they had been all this time deprived of judicial pro- 
ceedings in causes of life and death ? Would he not 

' 0»Wp €io"( icifi Ta,<; Kptaei^ uf/.oi napa, iccivTai; rot? ^lov^aiovi;. P. 896. 


^ With the interruption of foiu* years only under the reign of 
Herod Agrippa. 

o 3 


rather have said, that formerly, when the Jewish 
magistrates had the execution of their own laws in 
capital cases, the Sadducees were wont to be the 
most cruel of all the Jews ? Is it not astonishing 
that he should nowhere through his whole History, 
upon any occasion, give us the least hint that the 
Romans had taken from the Jews the power of in- 
flicting death ? Had it been really so, one would 
think it was almost impossible he should have 
avoided it. At least it is very certain he would not 
have so written as to lead us to judge they had the 
actual exercise of this power, as he does in the place 
before us. 

Thus also, when he is giving an account of the 
sect of the Essenes, he says, " They are most exact 
" and just in their judicial proceedings. Not fewer 
" than 100 of them met together sit in judgment, 
" and what is determined by them is unchangeable. 
" The name of the legislator is, next to God, the 
" most honoured by them ; and if any one speaks 
" evil of him, he is punished with death ^." Here is 
a plain and full account that one sect of the Jews 
did judge in capital causes, and inflict death on crimi- 
nals. And although it is introduced after the rela- 
tion of Judaea's being made a province, yet is it not 
said, Thus the Essenes were wont to do, before they 
were deprived of this power by the Romans ; but. 
Thus they do. 

On the other hand it is urged, that in all Josephus's 

'^ Hep) 8e Ta? Kplcrett; aKptjSfo-TaTOi, koi iiKaior Koi ZiKo^ova-i [/.fv ovk 
iXaTTovt; tSv e/caxov (rvvtXBovTii;. to Se opiadev iw' aiiTuv ocKivt^roV ere^ai 
St ixfyiarov -Kap' avro7i [/.(to, tov 0€ov, to ovofji,a, toZ vci[a.o6€Tov' ki{.v ^'kolit- 
ipri[A-^a~ri ti? €»« toZtov, HoXcc^effdai Oavdrij}. De Bell. Jud. 1. 2. C. 8. §. 
9, pr. 


History of these times, when criminals abounded 
in Judaea, and many were put to death by the Ro- 
man governors, we find not the mention of any one 
put to death by the Jewish council or magistracy, 
except those which were stoned in a vacancy be- 
tween the death of Festus (which happened in the 
province) and the arrival of Albinus his succes- 

That we have not an account of many criminals 
being put to death by the Jewish magistrates, in the 
History of Josephus, is not at all surprising ; it 
being beneath the dignity of an historian to descend 
so low as the execution of ordinary criminals. He 
would, in all probability, have omitted the relation 
of the death of James, our Lord's brother, had it not 
occasioned to Ananus the loss of the high-priesthood, 
and been esteemed by the skilful a proceeding con- 
trary to the Jewish laws. When, indeed, crimes 
are of such a nature as to create immediate danger 
to the safety of the state, it is incumbent on an his- 
torian to take notice of them ; and I can venture to 
affirm, upon a strict examination, that of this sort 
are all those crimes for which persons are said to be 
put to death by the Roman governors in the History 
of Josephus. There is no one instance in that His- 
tory of any criminal's being put to death under the 
four first Roman governors, and of very few under 
their successors, till the Jews became greatly sedi- 
tious, and ripe for that rebellion which issued in the 
destruction of their temple and city. The persons 
said to be executed by the Roman governors were 
generally such who had been in arms, and com- 

■^ Lard. Cred. vol. i. p. 154. 

o 4 


mitted great disorders. Nor can I find that any one 
was put to death by them as a criminal, who either 
had not appeared in arms, or been judged guilty of 
sedition and treason against the Roman state, unless 
it were the soldier who tore the sacred books, of 
which I have taken notice before ^. 

^ Although the objector asserts that criminals abounded in 
Judaea during the time it was a Roman province, and that Jose- 
phiis mentions many who were put to death by the Roman 
governors; yet upon examination I cannot find that he gives an 
account of the execution of any one person, excepting our Sa- 
viour, till very near the close of Pilate's government, i. e. till near 
thirty years after Judaea was added to the province of Syria. The 
Samaritans had many of them taken arms, and assembled at a 
certain place called Tirathaba. Pilate sent forces against them, 
which slew some and took others : the chief of those who were 
taken, Pilate put to death. Antiq. 1. i8. c. 5. §. i. About nine 
vears after this (when Judasa was a second time made a province 
upon the demise of king Agrippa) Cuspius Fadus, the governor, 
put to death Annibas, the author of an insurrection against the 
Philadelphenses, in which many persons had lost their lives. 
Tholoma-us, the captain of a band of robbers, who had done very 
great mischief in Iduniaea and to the Arabs, was also punished 
with death by him. L. 20. c. i. §. i. The same governor sent 
a troop of horse after Theudas and his followers, which took 
Theudas, cut off his head, and brought it to Jerusalem. Ibid. c. 4. 
§. I. Tiberius Alexander, who succeeded him, commanded James 
and Simon, the sons of Judas the Galilaean, to be crucified. Jo- 
sephus does not tell us for what crimes, but, making mention of 
their father's crime in the same place, no one, I think, can doubt 
that it was for exciting the people to rebellion by preaching his 
peculiar doctrines. Ibid. §. 2. Some time after this, Ummidius 
Quadratus, president of Syria, crucified the Jews who had been in 
arms against the Samaritans, and were defeated and taken byCu- 
manus. Ibid. c. 5. §. i, 2. Afterwards he sent for eighteen 
Jews who had been engaged in the same battle, and beheaded 
them. De Bell. Jud. 1. 2. c. 12. §. 6. He at the same time put 
to death Dorlus, and four others, for persuading the people to re- 


volt from the Romans. Antiq. I. 20. c. 5. §. 2. Sedition now 
spread itself through the whole country. 'ErpdrnvTo 8e -TcoKXoi -npli 

Kri(TT(lav Sia tyjv a^eiav\ kcu Kara, maaav xyyv y/ifav dp-Kayal t6 '^trai/, ku) 
Tuv OpcccrvTfpccv i'Ttavaa-va.s-tic. De Bell. Jud. 1. 2. C. 12. §. 5. 1. 35. 
Felix the governor took daily many impostors and robbers, and 
put them to death. Antiq. 1. 20. c. 7. §. 5. de Bell. Jud. 1. 2. c. 
13. §. 2, fin. et §. 4, 5. The impostors were such who, pretend- 
ing to shew signs and wonders, drew multitudes after them into 
the wilderness, in order to raise a rebellion. Antiq. 1. 20. c. 7. §. 
6, pr. HXdvoi yap auBpairot ko,) ccTcaieZvn, Tcpoax^l^aTi Qetaay.ov, vewve- 
pta-[Mvi; KO.) f/,€Ta^oXuq TrpayiAaTevof^evoi, da,tjjt.ov^i/ to ttXtjSo,; dve-weidov. De 
Bell. Jud. 1. 2. c. 13. §. 4. The robbers were little armies, which 
excited the people to rebel, threatening with death those who sub- 
mitted to the Romans, burning and plundering such houses and 
villages whose inhabitants refused to come into their measures. 
Hd'Mv Se oi X'/)o-Ta) tov S'^/aov tl<; tIv upoi 'Vuf^alovi icoXtiA.o)/ TjpeOi'^ov, jiAijSev 
imuKOVfiv avToTi 'Kkyovtic,, KoiX rai; twv diaiBovvrm Kufjiai; i[A.T:nrpdvre(; h-qp- 
iteCC^ov. Antiq. 1. 20. C. 7. §. 6, fin. M.tpiC,ofA.evoi yap tic, t^v %£u/)av 
KCita Xoyfivc, Zir^pva'^ov re ra(; run ivvarZv oj/cta?, Ka) avTov<; dv^pow, Ka\ 
ra<; Kuy-ct^ (ye-r(lf/.'i:pa(Ta)/' ai; re r^q ccnovola^ ainSv icaaav Tvji/ 'lovhuiav dva- 
iclfM:'kaa6ai. De Bell. Jud. 1. 2. c. 13. §. 6. These robbers were 
of the sect of Judas the Galilaean. Compare the places last 
quoted with Antiq. 1. 18. c. I. §. I. 1. 16, &c. Atjo-tij/jiW Se i^eyd- 
"kuv eTTidecretTi Ka) iiacpOopaTi dvhpav rSv icpu-vuv. L. 20, ' Kva'iq. re t^ 

IvrtZbtv vjp^aTo voae7v ro tOvo^. Ibid. §. 6, fin. The Sicarii were also 
of the same sect. De Bell. Jud. 1. 7. c. 8. §. t. et c. 10. §. i. 
Under Festus this people increased. He took many of them, 
and put them to death. Antiq. 1. 20, c. 7.§. 10. et de Bell. Jud. 
1. 2. c. 14. §. I, pr. Under Albinus they increased yet more ; for 
those of them who were taken and in prison he dismissed for 
money. He also took money of and encouraged the seditious, 
and was himself oiaTtep apxiX-rjo-r-^i;. Ibid. At his leaving the pro- 
vince he made a general gaol-delivery, putting to death some 
who were most obnoxious, and taking money for the release of all 
the rest ; so that the country was filled with robbers. Antiq. 1. 20. 
c. 8. §. 5. Gessius Florus, who succeeded him, gave license to 
all to commit robberies as they pleased, so they brought him part 
of the plunder. De Bell. Jud. 1. 2. c. 14. §. 2. Antiq. 1. 20. c. 10. 
§. I. He crucified Jews who were Roman knights. De Bell. 
Jud. 1. 2. c. 14. §. ult. fin. It is not said what was their crime, 



Passages J'rom the Talmud, ptoving that the Jewish mia- 
gistrates had the execution of their own laws in capital 
cases under the Romans ; and the Talmudical account 
very consistent with the History qfJosephus. 

There is an instance also in the Talmud, of a 
priest's daughter who was burnt for playing the har- 
lot; which, according to the best calculation that 
can be made, must have fallen out under the Roman 
governors ^ And it is expressly said in the Gemara, 
that the four capital punishments inflicted by the 
Jewish council or magistracy were in use during 
the forty years before the destruction of Jerusalem &. 
And I cannot but think, if we will allow of the ex- 
plication of the learned Selden, that the Talmudical 
expression mentioned in the beginning of this chap- 
ter, when compared, will be found very exactly to 
agree with the History of Josephus. According to 
Selden the Talmudists say, " That capital judg- 
" ments were" (not wholly taken away from them, as 
some have understood the expression, but) " greatly 
" interrupted for forty years before the destruction 
" of the temple." Had they been taken away by 
Judaea's being made a Roman province, they must 

most ' probably the pretence was treason. So great was his 
cruelty, that it was the immediate occasion of the war which 
broke out in the second year of his government. Anliq. 1. 20. c. 
ult. §. I, fin. De Bell. 1. 2. c. 14. §. 4, pr. 

f Lightfoot, vol. 2. p. 249. 

y Quod magis est dicendum de quadraginta illis qui excidium 
anteverterunt annis, quibus etiam quatuor poenae capitales in usu. 
Tlwsiph ad tit. Abodah zarah, c. i. fol. 8. 2. quoted by Selden de 
Syned. 1. 2. c. 15. §. 11. p. 1563. 


have fixed the date much earlier, and said they had 
been taken away sixty years before the destruction 
mentioned. When they say forty years, it is evi- 
dent the time fixed falls under the government of 
Pontius Pilate ; and agreeably hereto Josephus 
speaks of him as the first Roman governor who 
broke through the Jewish laws ^. And Agrippa in 
Philo expressly tells us, he was guilty of corrup- 
tion \ the receiving of bribes to pervert justice being 
the first laid to his charge, among several other the 
greatest crimes of which a governor can be accused. 
Of Cuspius Fadus, and Tiberius Alexander, the two 
first governors sent by the emperor Claudius, Jose- 
phus says that they acted nothing contrary to the 
Jewish customs ^. Cumanus, who succeeded, took 
money of the Samaritans to protect those who had 
murdered the Galilajansl Felix, being reproved 
by Jonathan the high priest, for his injustice in the 
administration of the Jewish affairs, employed rob- 
bers to murder him, who being countenanced and 
encouraged by this wicked governor for the service 
they had herein done him, numberless murders were 
committed by them afterwards with impunity ™. 
Albinus dismissed all malefactors for money, and 

'' Antiq. 1. i8. c. 4. (Hud. 3. Hav.) §. i, 2. 

' Tcii hapodoKia^, Ta<; v^peii;, rai; dpiraycci;, laq aiKta.^, ra,q iiiripeiai, 
Tovq a,Kpnov<; Kai eVxXXvjXov? (povoiK;, tvji/ ccvfjvVTOV Ka,t apyaMcaTiiT/jV u/m- 

TijTa hie^eXBovTfi;. Leg. ad Caium, p. 1034, C. 

Oi, iAr]^ev TzapaKivoZvTei; iZv waT^/wy iQZv, iv tlp'qvri to e6voi; ^ncbv- 

'Aa^av. De Bell. Jud. I. 2. c. 11. §. 6. 1. 31. 

' 'O Se 'x^ffifA.oKTi iteKrBe'K; t'no tZv '2ay.a,piuv uXiyuprjO-fv. In Cod. 
Busb. Xp-^fxacrt TCoKXcTi a.iiOTv<pXcc6i'ii; vTro tSv J^ccfAapeuv, K^Ketvon^ (jmK- 
Xov wejo-flti^, T^v iK^iKr}(Tiv ui\tyup'/i<Tev. Antiq. 1. 20. c. 5. §. I. 1. 24. 

"" Antiq. 1. 20. c. 6. §. 5. p. 893. The corruption of this 
governor is more than hinted Acts xxiv. 26. 


Gessius Florus was sharer with such in their unlaw- 
ful gains ". From this account of Josephus, I think, 
we may easily see the true reason of the interrup- 
tion given to the proceedings of the Jewish magis- 
trates in capital causes for forty years before the 
destruction of the temple. It was owing to the 
corruption and maladministration of several of the 
Roman governors who took bribes, or shared the 
plunder, in order to protect criminals from justice". 
The Talmudists, and other Jewish writers, tell us, 
that the great council sat in a room of the temple 
called GazithP; that in the trial of capital causes 
they were obliged to sit in this room, and could con- 
demn no one to death in any other place ^ ; that the 
lesser councils, which had the power of judging in 
cases of life and death, could not proceed therein, 
unless the great council sat in the room Gazith ^ 
The reason of this is supposed to be, because there 
lying an appeal from the lesser councils to the 
greater one, if that, by not sitting in its proper 
place, was incapable of determining capital causes, 
the appeal was hereby prevented. And it was not 

" De Bell. Jiid. 1. 2. c. 14. §. i. et 2, fin. 

" It was not in Judaea alone that governors sent from Rome, 
when corrupt and wicked, followed this practice. Verres is ac- 
cused of the same, Cum praedonum duces accepta pecunia dimise- 
rit. Cic. in Ver. 1. i.e. 4. (9, fin.) p. 269, a. 

P Misna tit. Middoth, cap. 5. Maimon. Halach. Sanhed. c. 14. 
in Seld. de Syned. 1. 2. c. 15. §. 4. Lightfoot, vol. 2. p. 611, 

1 Gloss, ad tit. Aboda zara, c. 1 . fol. 8, i . ad Gemara, ibid, et 
ad tit. Sanhed. cap. 5. fol. 41. i. 

^ Maimon. Halach. Sanhed. c. 14. Cotzenzis Praecept, affirm. 
102. in Seld. de Syned. I. 2. c. 15. §. 6. Lightfoot, vol. 2. p. 248, 


permitted that the lesser councils should sit on capi- 
tal judgments, unless the great council was in its 
proper place, and so capable of receiving appeals 
from them ^ 

It is said in the Talmud, that the great council, 
or sanhedrim, removed from the room Gazith forty 
years before the destruction of the temple *; and this 
removing, all judicial proceedings in matters of life 
and death of course ceased throughout the whole 
country, I mean among the Jewish magistrates. 
This removal of the great council is represented 
by the Talmudists, and all the Jewish writers, as a 
voluntary thing " ; not a thing imposed upon them 
by the authority of the Roman emperors, or enjoined 
them by the governors ; but a matter of their own 
choice, which for certain reasons they judged expe- 
dient. Nor is there the least intimation given that 
they departed with an intention not to return ; on 
the contrary, it is expressly said, when occasion 
served, thej did return ^. The reason that is given 
for this their voluntary removal is the frequency of 
murders, which they were not able longer to restrain 
by their judicial sentences >'. It is very certain, as 

^ Seld. ibid. §. 6, fin. 

^ Gemara Bab. a, tit. Sanhed. c. 5. fol. 41. a. et ad tit. Sab- 
both, c. I. fol. 15. I. et ad tit. Aboda zara, c i.fol. 8. 2. Cotzen- 
zis Praecept. affirm. 102. in Seld. ibid. §. 8. 

" Gemara Bab. ad tit. Aboda zara cap. i. fol. 8. 2. Abrah. Za- 
cut. Sej)iier Juchasin, fol. 21. i. et fol. 26. 2. in Selden. Ibid. 
§. 10. 

=* ni'U; piy Thosiphtha ad tit. Chetuboth. c. 3. fol. 30, 31. et 
ad tit. Aboda zara, c. i. fol. 8. 2. et ad Gemara Bab. tit. Sanhed. 
c. 4. fol. 37. 2. in Seld. Ibid. §. 11. Lightfoot, vol. 2. p. 613. 

y Gemara Bab. tit. Aboda zara, c. i. fol. 8. 2. Abr. Zacut. Se- 
pher Jvichasin, fol. 21. i. in Seld. Ibid. c. 10. pr. et fin. 


Dr. Lightfoot observes, that by their own account 
they were far too favourable in their proceedings on 
capital judgments '^. And some of the rules they 
have laid down must have made it not a little diffi- 
cult to convict a criminal*. Notwithstanding, 
there is but too much reason to think that they 
were often prevented by the Roman governors ^ 

^ Vol. 2. p. 248. et 612. 

^ Particularly the premonition required. Maimon. Halach. 
Sanhed. c. 11, 12. et 18. §. 5,6, 7. in Seld. de Syned. 1. 2. c. 13. 
§. 2, I must own it seems not a little incredible. Even Selden 
himself, in the title of this paragraph says, Mirandum, de praemo- 
nitione actionibus capilalibus, eisque in qulbus verberum poenae 
usus necessaria; seu de juris aut facti ignorantia praesumpta. Vid. 
Cocceii Duo Tituli Talmudici, p. 41, pr. et 43, fin. 

^ Jam vero scimus sub Romanispermissum esse Judseis Hiero- 
solymis synedryum magnum, eique ibi licuisse in loco consueto, 
seu Liskath Hagazith, judicia etiam capitalia exercere ; quod ex 
supra allatis manifestum est. Cum vero sub atmum ante templi 
excidium quadragesimum, ob sicarionim frequentiam, qui ssepius 
praesidis favore aliterve tuti, etiam synedrii judicio proculdubio 
subinde eripiebant\ir, adeo ut nee homicidia compescere ilhid 
posset, nee csedis diutius reos morte plectere, quod quidam ex jure 
avito atque hactenus sibi relicto (utcunque sic violato) in ejusce 
munere et officio erat cum synedriis caeteris ferme commune ; 
visum est e loco judiciis hujusmodi adeo proprio ut alibi rite exer- 
ceri ab ipsis nequirent, migrare locum in alium, ibique sedes po- 
nere, ubi ex ipsa sessione manifestum redderetur tum homicidas 
se in jus vocare nolle, quia plane frustra fieret, tum pudere se 
in loA) judiciis capitalibus ita proprio sedes habere, cum tot ho- 
mines rei capitalis damnandi, ultimoque afficiendi supplicio, potes- 

tatem suam ac sententiam quotidie ehiderent. Tametsi igitur 

dominantium libido, et victorum tyrannis in causa erat homicidia 
saepe nimis impune intra synedrii jurisdictionem ac imperium 
committerentur, unde evenit ut migraret illud e loco sibi con- 
sueto, alibique intra urbem diu judicia exerceret ; id non accipien- 
dum est perinde ac si decrcto aliquo seu jussu principali ita pul- 
sum esset, aut judiciorum capitalium potestas ei fuisset erepta, sed 


who, for the sake of money, took offenders out of 
their hands ; it being always in the governor's power 
to stop their proceedings, and call the cause before 
himself. And thus the learned Selden understands 
those words of the Chaldee paraphrast in Psalm 
Ixix. A wicked kifig hath made me to remove. For 
the paraphrast interprets the Psalm of the removal 
of the great council, or sanhedrim ; and making the 
sanhedrim to speak the words of the Psalm, adds at 
the end of the second verse, A wicked king or ty- 
rant hath made me to remove'^; i.e. Pilate, the 
Roman governor, by his stopping the course of jus- 
tice, and protecting of murderers, hath so increased 
their number, that it is utterly in vain to attempt to 
punish them. For which reason the sanhedrim 
chose rather to leave the place of judgment, than to 
sit there, and not be able to discharge their duty. 
They often returned to their place under better go- 
vernors, or when they had reason to think the go- 
vernors would not interfere. But from this time 
robbers and murderers gained such a head, and be- 
came so powerful, that they were no more able to 
do aught against them ; and it is expressly said, 
that to sit in judgment upon murderers they never 
did return '^. 

de migratione tantum spontanea, qualem memoravimus. Seld. de 
Syned. 1. 2. c. 15. §. 10. 

' Seld. de Syn. 1. 2. c. 15. § 10, nied. Vid. et §. 8. 

•^ Gloss, ad tit. Chetliuboth, fol. 30. 1. in Lightfoot, vol. 2. p. 



An argiment of another nature, rendering it higMy pro- 
bable that the Jewish magistrates under the Romans had 
the executio7i of their own laxvs in capital cases. 

Another argument, which, I think, has no small 
weight in it, is this : if all criminal jurisdiction % or 
if the cognisance only of all capital causes ^, were 
in the governor of every province, so that no person 
could be adjudged to death but by him, what an 
insupportable addition would this be to the other 
necessary parts of government? what man could 
possibly sustain the weight of affairs in any one 
province ? which way could Vitellius in particular 
have managed the business of Syria, together with 
that of Judaea annexed to it, when he sent Pilate 
to give an account of his conduct to Tiberius s, the 
countries of Trachonitis, Gaulonitis, and Batanaea, 
being at the same time added to the province by 
the death of Philip the tetrarch ^' ? would his whole 
time have sufficed for the hearing of causes only ? 
It is true he placed his friend Marcellus in the room 
of Pilate '. But if the maxim of the civil law, Me- 

= I have already observed, that according to the arguments of 
those on the other side of the question, taken from the civil law, 
all criminal jurisdiction must have been in the governor, and he 
could delegate no part of it to any other. Vid. sect. 2. 

^ The gentlemen on the other side of the question take it in- 
deed for granted, that all but capital causes might be determined 
by the Jewish magistrates ; but they give no reason for this divi- 
sion of imperium, and according to their principles it is impos- 
sible they should. 

e Jos. Antiq. 1. 18. c. 4. §. 2. '• Ibid. c. 5. §. ult. 

' Ibid. c. 4. §. 2. 


rum imperium non posse transire ^^ that the power 
of judging and punishing criminals could not be de- 
legated were of force, and took place at this time, 
Marcellus could lend him no assistance in this part 
of his office. ViteUius could not confer on him the 
power of determining criminal causes ; yet we very 
well know there were other pressing affairs, in most 
provinces not a few, which so engrossed the time of 
the governors, that they could afford but little, com- 
paratively, for the hearing of ordinary criminals. 
Vitellius, during the time we have mentioned, 
marched an army against Aretas king of Arabia ^, 
went also to the Euphrates, had an interview with 
Artabanus king of Parthia, and concluded a peace 
with him ™. 

If it be said, that after the time of Antoninus Ca- 
racalla, when the Roman law was spread through 
the whole empire, and not only the trial of capital 
causes, but, what is much more, all criminal juris- 
diction, was certainly in the governor of every pro- 
vince, we find not that the business was so great, 
but many were well able to undergo it ; the answer 
is plain : the provinces were then lessened in pro- 
portion to the increase of business, that, which was 
one province at the time we are speaking of, having 
been divided into many after the law passed by An- 
toninus ". 

^ L. I. §. I. ff. de Offic. ejus cui mand. est .lurisd. 

^ Jos. Antiq. 1. i8. c. 6. §. 3. 

™ Ibid. c. 5. §. 5. Sueton. in Calig. c. 14. §, 5. Dio, 1. 59. p. 
661, Vid, et Suet, in Vitel. c. 2. §. 7. Lard. Cred. vol. i. p. 171. 
187, 188. 

" Dio, 1. 53. p. 504, A. 1. 8,9, 10, Notit. Imper. apud Panvi- 
nium et Fred. Spanheim. The province of Syria that was under 
Vitellius, of which we have been speaking, was in Constantine's 



Arguments taken Ji-om the sacred writings to prove the 
same thing. 

I SHOULD not have given myself the trouble to 
enter thus deeply into the question before me, had I 
not been fully persuaded that what I have been 
maintaining is the real sense of the writers of the 
New Testament, and that it cannot but appear to 
any impartial man, who reads the Gospels and the 
History of the Acts without prejudice, that the most 
obvious, easy, and natural construction of the seve- 
ral passages relating hereto, is, that the Jewish ma- 
gistrates had the power of trying capital causes, and 
inflicting death. 

It is well known that the Jewish courts which 
sat upon life and death were their councils, the 
great council which sat in the room Gazith at Jeru- 
salem, composed of seventy-one members ; and the 
lesser councils in other cities, composed of twenty- 
three members ". These are often mentioned in the 
New Testament. The question is, whether they are 
spoken of in such a manner as implies that they still 
retained the power of punishing criminals with death, 
or in such a manner as imports that they had now 
lost this power ? 

It cannot be denied, that in the Acts of the 
Apostles there is one very plain instance of the coun- 
cil's sitting and hearing witnesses, of the prisoner's 
defence, and of his execution, and that the execu- 
tion was performed according to the direction of the 

time divided into thirteen provinces. Vid. Panvin. Imper. Rom. 
vol. 2. p. 254. 256. 
" Vid, Seld. de Syned. 


law of Moses p. The prisoner was stoned, and the 
hands of the witnesses were first upon him to put 
him to death "^i. It is the case of the protomartyr 

To this it is objected, that there is no relation of 
any sentence pronounced, or of the high priest's col- 
lecting the opinions of the court "■ ; that after Ste- 
phen had uttered these words, I see the So7i of mem 
standing on the right hand of God, the representa- 
tion given us by St. Luke has more the appearance, 
of a tumultuous proceeding of the people, than a re- 
gular administration of justice ^ 

Were historians to descend minutely to the cietail 
of every particular *, who would be at the trouble to 
read their works ? and if it be incumbent on us, in 
order to prove that a people had the power of ex- 
ecuting their own laws in cases which required the 
inflicting of death, to bring an instance from histo- 
rians of credit, wherein is related the whole process 
of the court from beginning to end, I am apt to think 
it will be difficult, if not impossible, to shew that any 
one nation in the world, seven or eight hundred 
years past, had the power of trying capital causes. 
In relating the trial of the apostle James, and those 
others who suffered with him, Josephus tells us no 

P Deut. xvii. 7. n Acts vii. 58. 

■■ Lard. Cred. vol. i. p. 107. ^ Ibid, p. 108. 

* All that is said of Naboth's trial is. The men of Belial wit- 
nessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the 
people; saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then 
they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, 
that he died, i Kings xxi. 13. Should any one from hence con- 
clude that this was a tumultuous proceeding of the people, he 
may be convinced of the contrary by turning to the history. 
P 2 


more than that Ananus summoned the council, ac- 
cused them as transgressors of the law, and deli- 
vered them to be stoned. Must we from hence con- 
clude that there were no witnesses heard, no defence 
made by the prisoners, no debates among the mem- 
bers of the council, no collecting of opinions, no sen- 
tence passed ? This would be a very hasty pro- 
ceeding, and most unfair treatment of the historian. 
It is very seldom he relates even so much as this, 
when he gives an account of the execution of crimi- 
nals : must we thence infer that they had no trial, 
or were brought before no court of judicature ? No, 
such things are passed by, being supposed to be 
known to every one as things of course. And histo- 
rians never dwell upon the circumstances of a trial, 
unless it be to relate something remarkable, and 
worthy our attention. We should never have known 
those few circumstances that are related in the trial 
of St. Stephen, had it not been to introduce that 
noble speech he made in his defence, and to shew us 
the temper of the apostle Paul at that time. So the 
circumstances mentioned in the trial of the apostles 
in Acts V. are evidently to shew us the courage of 
the apostles, and to give us the remarkable opinion 
of Gamaliel in favour of the Christians. But even 
in this case there is no relation of any sentence 
passed, only of the execution of the sentence ", as in 
the case of St. Stephen. The circumstances related 
in the trial of the apostles Peter and John in Acts 
iv. are to convince us how much they were changed 
in their temper and behaviour since the resurrection 
of Christ, and the pouring forth the Holy Spirit ; 

" Acts V. 40. 


particularly to set before us the bold and undaunted 
spirit of the apostle Peter since his recovery after 
the base denial which he made of his Master. The 
relation of these circumstances was also necessary to 
introduce the account which follows of the second 
effusion of the Holy Ghost on the disciples ^. And 
both in this and the two former cases they were 
highly fitting, in order to make us see the exact ful- 
filment of several of our Lord's prophecies y. 

For my own part, I see no more reason to question 
whether sentence of death was pronounced by the 
council in the case of St. Stephen, than there is to 
doubt whether sentence of scourging was pronounced 
in the case of the apostles, related Acts v., or that 
of stoning in the case of James, the brother of our 
Lord, related by Josephus ; or that of death in the 
case of almost any one person he speaks of as exe- 
cuted. Why might not sentence pass while St. Ste- 
phen was beholding the heavenly vision ? or is it at 
all improbable that the members of the council 
should pronounce him guilty of death when they 
gnashed on him with their teeth, expressing their 
indignation against him at the same time both by 

* Vid. Acts iv. 23 — 31. 

y Such as those concerning Peter in particular 5 Thou art Peter, 
and upon this rock I ivill build my church ; and the gates of hell 
shall not prevail against it, Matt. xvi. 18. I have prayed for thee, 
that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen 
thy brethren, Luke xxii. 32, And the apostles in general; Beware 
of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils. Matt. x. 17. 
Take heed to yourselves : for they shall deliver you up to the coun- 
cils, Mark xiii. 9. Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate 
before what ye shall answer : for I will give you a mouth and wis- 
dom, which all your jn^iversaries shall not be able to gainsay or 
resist, Luke xxi. 14, 15. 

p 3 


their words and actions ^ ? After this there appears 
nothing irregular in the whole proceeding; all is 
conducted in exact agreement with the Mosaic law. 
He is cast out of the city ", and the witnesses throw 
the first stone. 

But should we allow that there was no sentence 
passed, and that St. Stephen was executed in a tu- 
multuary manner, through the too great zeal and 
forwardness of the people, yet is here a plain in- 
stance of a prisoner's being brought before the Jew- 
ish council, and accused of blasphemy, of their pro- 
ceeding to hear witnesses, and the defence of the 
prisoner : to what purpose, if they had no power to 
put this man to death in case he should be found 
guilty ? Did they meet together with an intent to 
pass sentence on him, and see that sentence executed, 
if they found him guilty ? or did they not ? if they 
did, the thing contended for is granted ; and it is of 
little import whether sentence were actually passed 
or not. If they did not meet with this intention, 
it is very strange it should not be hinted in a case 
where the person brought before them was actually 
executed ; the more so, because in another case, 
when the persons brought before them were not 
executed, St. Luke tells us that it was the intention 
of the council to have put them to death. Thus is 
it expressly said, when the apostles stood before 
them, that theij took counsel to slay them^\ and 

' Acts vii. 54, 55. Vid. Grot, in Matt, xxvi. 66. 

■' Levit. xxiv. 14. Numb. xv. 35, 36. i Kings xxi. 13. 

^ Acts V. 33. ifBovKevovro. They were cut to the heart, and de- 
termined to put them to death. Vid. Grot, in Joan. xii. 10. ^ovXev- 
tff6a,i non est hie consultare, sed constituere, ut Actor, v. 33. et xv. 
37. 2 Cor. i. 17. 


without doubt would have executed their design, 
had not Gamaliel diverted them from it. Is it an 
argument of no weight, that St. Luke, who gives us 
this account of their intention in the case of the 
apostles, and of their actual proceeding in the case 
of the protomartyr, never once intimates that they 
herein went beyond their power, and practised that 
which the Romans did not allow of? 


Further argumentsyrom the History of the Acts. 
We have not only this plain ^d undeniable fact 
in the one case, and the intention in the other re- 
lated in the History of the Acts, but we have also a 
clear and strong assertion that the Jewish magis- 
trates had determined to proceed in the trial of a 
capital cause made in open court in the presence of 
the Roman governor himself, who sat there as judge, 
and this without any check or control from the 
bench. It is in the speech of TertuUus made to the 
governor Felix in the case of St. Paul, whom, says he, 
we took, and would have judged acpording to our 
law *^. Is it possible to imagine that any advocate 
or counsel, be his assurance never so great, could 
have asserted such a thing as this to the Roman 
governor himself, if at the same time the Romans 
had deprived the Jews of capital judgments ? That 
this was a capital cause appears most fully from the 
accusation ^ ; and I dare say no one ever admitted 
the least doubt of it. 

'^ Acts xxiv. 6. 

•^ The accusation in the Jewish court no doubt was blasphemy, 
that he taught men every where against the people, and the law, 
and the temple. Acts xxi. 28. But as it was also in our Saviour's 
P 4 


But should we suppose that the orator could pre- 
vail with himself to make such an assertion, can we 
think that the high priest and elders of the Jewish 
nation could be so imprudent as to approve of what 
he said ? For it is expressly added, that they also 
assented^ saying that these things were so ^. And 
if we can imagine that the judge was so favourable 
to the counsel as to pass by his impertinence with- 
out a check, yet sure we cannot possibly believe that 
he would suffer the high priest and rulers of the 
nation to confirm such a thing without a rebuke. 
What ! would a Roman governor, sitting in the 
judgment-seat, hear the Jewish magistrates declare 
that they would have judged a prisoner in a capital 
cause, and not sharply reprehend them for it, if at 
the same time the Romans had absolutely prohibited 
their proceeding in such causes ? What possible 
construction could be put upon such a declaration, 
but an open profession of rebellion against the Ro- 
man state ? Could any governor sit still and hear it 
with patience? Certainly he could not. Besides, 
this was not a governor that had his business to 

case, when they came before the Roman governor, the crime hiid 
to his charge is sedition : We have found this man a pestilent fel- 
low, and a mover of sedition among all the Jeics throughout the 
world. Acts xxiv. 5. That it was esteemed a capital cause by the 
Jews, is evident from the outcry they made against him when he 
had spoken to them from the stairs of the castle ; Away with 
such a fellow from the earth: for it is not Jit that he should live. 
Acts xxii. 22, 23 : and from what Festus says to king Agrippa, 
Ve see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews have 
dealt tvith me, both at Jerusalem, and also here, cri/ing that he 
ought not to live any longer. Acts xxv. 24. 
•^ Acts xxiv. 9. 


learn, but one who had presided many years over 
that nation ^. 

To this it is objected, that it is not easy to say 
what we ought to understand by these words of 
Tertullus; tliat there is little regard to be had to 
what he says, and that he endeavours to impose 
upon the governor s. 

But does not the apostle Paul himself assert the 
same thing, when, standing before the Jewish coun- 
cil, he says to Ananias the high priest, Sittest thou 
to judge me after the law, and commandest me to 
he smitten contrary to the law '^ f If St. Paul had 
any notion of the end for which he was brought be- 
fore that court, it was to be tried by the Jewish 
law. And what is it that Tertullus says more? 
whom we took, and would have judged according 
to our law. It is true, he adds immediately after. 
But the chief captain Lijsias came upon us, and 
with great violence took him away out of our 
hands '\ And does not St. Luke tell us much the 
same, when he says that while St. Paul stood before 
the council, there arising a great dissension, and the 
chief captain fearing lest he should be torn to pieces 
by them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and 
to take him hy force from among them ^. It is very 
certain this was an imperfect representation of the 
case ; but to what purpose would it have been to 
have given a more ample detail of the particulars ? 
The Jews took St. Paul. Tertidlus passes over in 
silence all that followed, till he was brought by Ly- 
sias before the council. Then the Jews would have 

f Acts xxiv. lo. " Lard. Cred. vol. r. p. 129, fin. et 131, 

^ Acts xxiii. 3. ' Acts-xxiv. 7. ^ Acts xxiii. 10. 


judged him according to their law. He suppresses 
the dissension that appeared in court, and only men- 
tions Lysias's taking him away by force. Were the 
circumstances omitted of any importance to the try- 
ing of the cause? Had they been so, the prisoner 
would no doubt have taken notice of them in his 
defence, and set them in a clear light. But foras- 
much as he has not, and as all these things were 
plainly subsequent to the facts of which he was ac- 
cused, and therefore could noways tend to make out 
either his innocence or guilt, I think we may firmly 
conclude that Tertullus had no intention to impose 
on the governor in this part of his oration ^ 

The learned Grotius confines the meaning of Ter- 
tullus to one particular crime, and descants upon 
his words thus : Whom we would have judged ac- 
cording to our law, as having brought strangers 
into the temple, in which crime the execution of 
capital punishments was permitted by the Romans ^. 
For the proof of this last assertion he refers " to the 
words of Titus related in Josephus, which I have 
already quoted. But those words reach the strangers 

' It is true, the words upon the first view of them seem as 
though they related to Lysias's rescuing St. Paul when he was 
taken in the temple, and like to have been beaten to death by the 
multitude. It must be acknowledged, the words came upon us, 
might lead us so to think, (though nothing is more usual than to 
ascribe that to a person which is done by his order.) But as he 
studied conciseness and brevity in this oration, possibly he did 
not stand upon the greatest accuracy, any more than Lysias in his 
letter to Felix ; This man was taken of the Jews, and should have 
been killed of them ; then came I with an army, and rescued him, 
having understood that he was a Roman. Vid. Lard. Cred. vol. i. 
)). 136. ^ In loc. 

" Grot, in Act. .\xi. 28. and to Moses de Cotzi, praec. jubent. 2 i . 


themselves only°, not the person who should per- 
suade or encourage them to go beyond the bounds 
prescribed ; which, I suppose, is all that can be un- 
derstood by bringing them into the temple ; for it is 
not to be imagined that force could be used by a 
single person to make them enter against their wills. 
The accusation of Tertullus does not say that he so 
much as prevailed with them to enter ; says only 
that he endeavoured it, heipaae; we translate it, 
hath gone about, i. e. hath attempted to defile this 
holy place. That such an attempt, if proved, was 
death by the Jewish law, I make no doubt : but 
what ground is there to believe that the Romans 
indulged them in the execution of this particular 
law, unless what I am contending for be granted, 
that they allowed them the use of all their laws in 
general ? Nothing is more certain than that our 
Saviour was not accused of the crime of bringing 
strangers into the temple ; and yet Pilate the Ro- 
man governor says to the Jewish magistrates con- 
cerning him. Take ye him and judge him accord- 
ing to your law. In this place, therefore, Grotius is 
forced to give another turn to the words, and inter- 
pret them as if he had said, " Take ye him and 
" punish him with those lesser punishments which 
" it is permitted you to exercise p ;" as though Pilate 
had been wholly ignorant of what passed in the 
high priest's house, or in the council the night be- 
fore 'I, or did not know that blasphemy was punished 

" Mr. Lardner also seems to be of this mind. Cred. vol. i. 
p. 130, fin. 

P In Joan, xviii. 31. 

'1 We cannot reasonably suppose that either the fame of Jesus, 
or the attempts of the Jewish rulers against him, much less their 


with death by the Jewish law, notwithstanding that 
he had been now governor of this nation some years. 
Grotius supposes that before Pilate said these words 
the Jews had accused our Saviour to him of sabbath- 
breaking, and such-like crimes "■. But could he be 
now to learn that sabbath-breaking also was made 
death by the Jewish law ? and does not the answer 
that they immediately subjoin to Pilate's saying 
fully evince that if they had accused him of any 
thing in particular it was of a capital crime? for 
they reply, It is not lawful for us to put any man 
to death, meaning, this holy season. But whatever 
be the meaning of those words, they fully shew that 
they had accused him as a malefactor worthy of 


Arguments to the same purpose taken from the Gospels. 

I SHALL lay before the reader some things which 
relate hereto in the four Gospels, and conclude this 
part of the chapter. Our Lord says to his disciples, 
Beware of men ; for they will deliver you up to 
the councils ". TaJee heed to yourselves -; for they 

proceedings the night before, and early that morning in the high 
priest's house, and in the council, could be unknown to Pilate. 
He was watchful enough of all the motions of the Jewish rulers. 
Kemis^ness and want of vigilance is not among the number of 
crimes laid to his charge. ^Ve cannot therefore, I think, much 
err in taking it for granted that he was well informed what they 
accused our Saviour of: and it is fully evident from his own 
words, that he rather chose they should have put him to death in 
their own way. 

' In Joan, xviii. 30. Si non esset hie malefactor, non tibi tra- 
(lidissemus euvi ; simul, ut credibile est, aliqua attiderunt de sab- 
batho, et similia. * Matt. x. 17. 


shall deliver you up to the councils ^ He that says 
to his brother, Raca, shall he in danger of the 
council'^. And to the Jews he says, Behold, I send 
unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes, and 
some of them shall ye hill and crucify^. And in 
another place. Therefore also said the wisdom of 
God, I will send them p7'ophets and apostles, and 
some of them they shall slayy. I am far from think- 
ing that these places determine the question ; but 
surely the most natural construction of them is, that 
there remained in the Jewish councils a power of 
inflicting death. The answer which our Lord made 
to the Scribes and Pharisees, who brought to him a 
woman taken in adultery, is. He that is without 
sin, let him cast the first stone at her^. It was 
commanded in the law of Moses that the witnesses 
or accusers should throw the first stone; and the 
meaning of our Lord's answer is plainly this ; Let 
him among you who has not been guilty of the same 
crime, or a crime equally great, be a witness against 
her, or become her accuser and prosecutor before 
the council. It is not to be supposed that our Lord 
here takes upon him the part of a judge. This in 
another case he utterly disclaims, saying to the per- 
son that desired it of him. Who made me a judge 
over you '^ f much less can we suppose that he would 
countenance a popular and tumultuary execution ^, 

' Mark xiii. 9. " Matt. v. 22. " Matt, xxiii, 34. 

y Luke xi. 49. ^ John viii. 7. ^ Luke xii. 14. 

^ The interpretation of the learned Grotius represents him, 
I think, as too much favouring this sort of execution. Upon 
those words, Let him that is without sin cast the fast stone, he 
has this note : Quia lapidatio illis temporibus erat quasi judicium 
popuii, ideo quod de jiidicibus dici solet, populo aptavit. But, 


or encourage any persons to lay violent hands on a 
criminal before sentence was passed by those who 
were in authority. Our Lord's answer, therefore, 
by a very common figure of speech, and in an equit- 
able construction, amounts to no more than this : 
" Let him among you that is not guilty of a like 
" sin, accuse and prosecute her before the council." 
Which answer plainly supposes that the Mosaic law 
in all its forms was at this time executed. And who 
can we think would put it thus in execution if the 
Jewish magistrates were not permitted ? 

The four evangelists are unanimous that the Jews 
attempted to prosecute our Saviour for the capital 
crime of sabbath-breaking, and to cause him to suffer 
the pains of death for it. St. Matthew says. They 

with the leave of so great a man, it was not the judges, but the 
witnesses or accusers, that were to throw the first stone. He 
speaks this to the people that brought the woman therefore, not 
as judges, but as witnesses or accusers. And upon those words, 
Hath no man condemned tliee? his note is, Quasi dicat. Si lata 
est in te sententia, ego ei non contradico. But that there is no 
necessity of understanding this of a proper condemnation by a 
judge, appears from his own remark on the fifteenth verse : Accu- 
satores et testes condemnare Latine dicuntur. And he interprets 
the Greek word Ka.Ta,Kplveiv, here used, to the same sense in his 
notes on Matt. xii. 41. Heb. xi. 7. We have no reason therefore, 
from the use of this word, to make the people, who brought the 
woman to our Saviour, judges : it might very justly be said of 
them, although they were no more than witnesses or accusers. 
The learned Dr. Lightfoot supposes that the Scribes and Phari- 
sees who brought this woman before our Lord might be members 
of the great sanhedrim ; and that those words, Hath no man con- 
demned thee? intimate, that those -who accused her had also 
power to judge and condemn her. Tluis, the Scribes and Pha- 
risees, he thinks, signify the sanhedrim. Matt, xxiii. 2. vol. 2. 
p. 1080. 


ashed him. Is it lawful to heal on the sahbath-dayf 
that they might accuse him ^. And because in his 
answer he determined that it was lawful, and ac- 
tually healed a person who had a withered hand be- 
fore them, it is added. The Pharisees held a coun- 
cil against him, how they might destroy him^. 
St. Mark says. They watched him, whether he would 
heal on the sabbath-day, that they might accuse 
him ^. St. Luke says the same ^ To whom would 
they accuse him ? Is it at all likely that a Roman 
governor would put a man to death for doing so 
beneficent an action on the sabbath-day ? As it 
would be difficult to convince him that the crime of 
sabbath-breaking deserved death, it would be much 
more so to persuade him that the doing good on 
that day could be criminal : but the Jewish council 
would have readily received such an accusation. 
If the Talmud may be at all credited, it was every 
way agreeable to their maxims to proceed against 
and pronounce a man guilty of death for such an 
action as thiss. Who then can admit a doubt that 

'■■ Ch. xii. lo. "^ Ver. 14. ^ Ch. ii. 3. f Ch. vi. 7. 

s It was a rule with them, That what might be done on the 
eve of the sabbath dispensed not with the sabbath. This agrees 
exactly with that which the ruler of the synagogue says to the 
people, Luke xiii. 14. There are six days in which men ought to 
work : in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sab- 
bath-day. They thought that the withered hand might as well 
have been restored on any other day, and that the woman might 
have been healed of the spirit of infirmity on the eve before; and 
therefore that the doing it on the sabbath was breaking the sab- 
bath, and deserved death. Talm. Sabbath, cap. 19. They allowed, 
indeed, that the danger of life dispensed with the sabbath. Tanch. 
fol. 9. col. 2. but in neither of the cases above mentioned would 


our Saviour was to have been prosecuted before 
them ? and how did he avoid the threatening dan- 
ger ? By withdrawing himself from under their ju- 
risdiction to the tetrarchy of Galilee^. 

In like manner, when our Lord had healed the 
man at the pool of Bethesda, and ordered him to 
take up his bed and walk, St. John says, Therefore 
did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay 
him, because he had done these things on the sab- 
hath-day\ The word which we iYar\s\ persecute 
is a law term, and signifies to prosecute or accuse in 
a court of justice. In all probability they had ac- 
tually commenced a prosecution against him before 
the great council for breach of the sabbath, and 
sought means to apprehend and convict him. Our 
Lord afterwards gave them further offence in calling 
God his Father ; and the evangelist adds. Therefore 
the Jews sought the more to hill him, because he 
had 7iot only broken the sabbath, but said also that 

they admit that there was danger of life. Vid. Lightfoot, vol. t. 
p. 222. and vol. 2. p. 187. 

'' But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea, i. e. 
the sea of Galilee, Mark iii. 7. Vid. et Matt. xii. 15. It is not 
indeed absolutely certain where our Saviour was when he healed 
the withered hand ; but it is probable that he was in some part 
of Judaea: that he was now in his way from Jerusalem, where he 
had been celebrating the passover, to go to Galilee, is sufficiently 
evident from the circumstances of the history when laid together, 
and is the opinion, I think, of Dr. Lightfoot, vol. i. p. 221, 222. 
Vid. vol. 2. p. 184. Father Pezron indeed conjectures, that when 
he cured the withered hand he was already arrived in some part 
of Galilee, from the mention of the Herodians. Histoire Evangel, 
vol. 2. p. 74. Can there be a more slight foundation for such a 
conjecture ? Might there not be Herodians going from the feast 
at Jerusalem to Galilee as well as our .Saviour ? 

' John V. 16. 


God was his Father, making himself equal with 
God^. There were two capital crimes therefore 
that the Jews would have convicted him of, and put 
him to death for, had he not immediately left Jeru- 
salem. For the apostle says, After these things 
Jesus went over the sea of Galilee^. And again, at 
the beginning of the next chapter "', Jesus walked 
hi Galilee : for he would not walk in Jewry, he- 
cause the Jews sought to kill him. He withdrew 
from their jurisdiction. If they had not sought to 
take away his life in a course of law by accusing 
him of capital crimes, why should he industriously 
avoid all Judaea, all places that were under their 
jurisdiction ? Had it been their design to have de- 
spatched him by a private hand, or a popular tumult, 
he might have escaped these as well by withdrawing 
into some of the remoter parts of Judaea as by going 
into Galilee. Or had it been their intention to have 
made interest with the Roman governor to execute 
him, could they not as easily have prevailed with 
Herod the tetrarch to do the same ? I can see no 
reason therefore why he so industriously avoided all 
Judaea, but because he thereby avoided the juris- 
diction of the Jewish sanhedrim. 

Our Lord appeared again at Jerusalem at the 
feast of tabernacles. It was so well known to the 
people of that city that he was under prosecution 
for capital crimes, that they are struck with aston- 
ishment to see him discoursing in public, and no one 
apprehend him. Then said some of them of Jeru- 
salem, Is not this he whom they seek to kill f But, 
lOj he sj)eaketh holdly, and they say nothing unto 

^ .John V. 1 8. ' John vi. i. '" Jolin vii. i. 


him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the 

very Christ " ? It is plain from these last words 
that they looked upon it as the business of the rulers 
or magistrates to apprehend him and put him to 
death. The evangelist, in what follows, tells us it 
was owing wholly to the overruling providence of 
God that he was not at that time taken by them. 
For several of the by-standers had a strong inclina- 
tion to apprehend him, yet did not, being in some 
secret manner prevented by him who disposes of all 
events °. Nay, the Pharisees and chief priests sent 
officers on purpose to bring him "^ ; but they, de- 
lighted and quite overcome with his discourse, re- 
turn without him ^. The Pharisees, in rebuking the 
officers for neglect of duty, plainly declare him to be 
an impostor ^. Nicodemus, one of the council, who 
believed him to be the Messiah, says to them, Does 
our law judge, i. e. condemn, any man as an im- 
postor or malefactor before it hear him, and know 
what he doth ** f He puts them in mind that the 
law of Moses obliged them to give him a hearing 
before they pronounced him a deceiver or false pro- 
phet. I leave it wholly to the reader to determine 
what is the import of these passages in the most 
easy and natural construction ; whether that the 
Jewish magistrates did now execute their laws in 
capital cases, or did not. 

" John vii. 25, 26. 

" Then they sought to take him : but no man laid hands on him, 
because his hour was not yet come, ver. 30. And some of the people 
would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him, v. 44. 

P Ver. 32. <i Ver. 45, 46. "■ Ver. 47, 48, 49. ' Ver. 51. 



Further arguments from the Gospels. 

After the resurrection of Lazarus, the chief 
priests and Pharisees gather a council, deliberate, 
and at length determine that it was fitting to put 
Jesus to death ; and issue forth their orders, that 
if any iium hieiv where he were, he should shew 
it, that they might take him *. Our Lord, to escape 
the effect of this order, for the little time that yet 
remained before the passover, walked no more openly 
among the Jews, and went to a remote part of Judaea, 
near the wilderness". We are told in the next 
chapter, that the chief priests consulted also hoiv 
they might put Lazarus to death ". These places, 
if taken in their obvious sense, clearly enough shew 
what I am contending for ; but that which makes it 
appear to me in a yet stronger light, is the fear of 
the people, so frequently expressed. Thus is it said 
in St. Matthew, Wheji the chief priests and Pha- 
risees sought to lay hands on him, they feared the 
multitude, because they took him for a prophet y. 
And again, the chief priests, and Scribes, and Elders 
of the people, assembled at the palace of the high 
priest, consulted that they might take Jesus by sub- 
tilty, and kill him ; but they said, not on the feast- 
day, lest there he an uproar among the people ^. 
Thus also it is said in St. Mark, The Scribes and 
chief priests sought how they might destroy him : 
for they feared him, because all the people were 
astonished at his doctrine^. And again. They 

* John xi. 47, &c. " Ver. 54. " John xii. 10. 

y Matt. xxi. 46. ^ Matt. xxvi. 4, 5. "^ Mark xi. i8. 

Q 2 


sought to lay hold on him, hut feared the people^. 
So in the Gospel of St. Luke, The chief j^r tests, and 
the Scribes, and the chief of the people, sought to 
destroy him ; and could not find what they might 
do : for all the people were very attentive to hear 
him'^. Again, The chief priests and the Scribes 
the same hour sought to lay hands on him ; and 
they feared the people ^. And again, The chief 
priests arid Scribes sought how they might kill 
him ; for they feared the people ^. In like manner 
it is said in the History of the Acts, when the coun- 
cil had further threatened Peter and John, they let 
them go, finding nothing how they might pu7psh 
them, because of the people : for all men glorified 
God for that which was done ^ It is said also of 
the officers, that they brought the apostles before the 
council without violence : for they feared the j)^o- 
ple, lest they should have been stoned^. When it 
is so often said that the rulers of the Jewish nation 
sought means to put Jesus to death, had it been 
meant that they would have put him to death by a 
private hand, in an extrajudicial manner, or have 
suborned witnesses to accuse him of some capital 
crime before the Roman governor, or by tlie weight 
of their influence have prevailed with the governor 
to order his execution, though evidence of the crimes 
alleged against him were wanting ; I say, if any of 
these were the things meant, whence could arise the 
fear of the people, so frequently and strongly ex- 
pressed ? All these things might have been so man- 

^ Mark xii. 12. <= Luke xix. 47, 48. '' Luke xx. 19. 

* Luke xxii. 2. ^ Acts iv. 21. R Acts v. 26. Vid. Luke 

XX. 6. Matt. xxi. 26. 


aged as that the authors of them should have lain 
concealed. Might not the hand which gave the 
fatal blow have remained a secret ? At least the 
persons who set the assassin to work would have 
remained unknown ; for who could oblige him to 
disclose it when the magistrates were on his side ? 
And if they had employed any to accuse him to Pi- 
late, how could it have been discovered who they 
were which gave the witnesses their instructions? 
And if they determined to influence the governor 
even against evidence, how could it have been 
known by whose particular persuasion he was so 
overcome as to order the execution ? 

But should we admit, what it must be owned is 
very difficult to be admitted, that none of these 
things would have remained a secret, could any of 
them, though known and public, be ground of fear 
to the whole body of the Jewish magistracy ? For 
it is said of the chief priests, the Scribes, and the 
Elders, i. e. of the Jewish magistracy in general, it 
is said of the whole council or court of judges, that 
they were afraid of the people. Had any of the 
foregoing methods been taken, there could not well 
have been many of them active in the aflfair. It is 
most likely that the execution of the method fixed 
upon would have been committed to a very few: 
which few, indeed, upon a discovery, might have 
apprehensions of the people's resentment, but not 
the whole body. On the other hand, if the great 
council of the nation intended to proceed in a judi- 
cial way to condemn and execute Jesus against the 
prevailing bent and inclination of the people, who 
held him as a prophet, here is a plain reason for 
that general fear expressed. Herod the tetrarch, 


whose authority in capital judgments I suppose no 
one ever questioned, suspended the execution of 
John the Baptist for a while, from the very same 
apprehension. St. Matthew says, that when he would 
have put John the Baptist to death for the freedom 
of his reproofs, he feared the multitude, because 
thetj counted Mm as a prophet^. The expression 
is exactly the same with some of those we have 
before recited concerning the Jewish magistrates. 
Had they sought to put Jesus to death by secret 
means, the authors and instigators, when found out, 
might have been afraid. Had they endeavoured it 
by spiriting up persons to accuse him to the go- 
vernor, the witnesses and prompters, when known, 
might have been afraid. Had they resolved upon it 
by persuading the governor, the persons who pre- 
vailed with him, when discovered, might have been 
afraid. But that tliis should affect the whole body 
of the Jewish magistracy, and that while the dis- 
covery was yet uncertain, and I may add not a little 
improbable, seems wholly incredible. It must there- 
fore be an act of the great council of the Jewish 
nation, or body of tlieir chief magistrates, which is 
referred to in those several places of the Gospels 
where this general fear is expressed : and what can 
that be, but their sitting in judgment on Jesus, con- 
demning him, and ordering his execution ? They 
were afraid to do this because of the multitude, in 
the same manner as Herod was afraid to execute 
John the Baptist : and that they were in truth 
afraid to act in their judicial capacity is fully ex- 
pressed to us in one of those places quoted from the 

'' Matt. xiv. 5. 


History of the Acts. For there it is said of the 
whole council, in the case of Peter and John, that 
tJieij let them go, finding nothing how they might 
punish them, because of the people. The reason 
given why they did not proceed against them and 
punish them was, their y^r/r of the people. 

And it is evident that this fear, in the case of our 
Saviour, drove them to the expedient of becoming 
accusers instead of judges, as the safer method of 
the two. For if upon accusing him to the Roman 
governor, (whether any of their own body had been 
witnesses against him, or they had employed others,) 
he had been condemned and executed, and there 
had followed a popular insurrection, this would have 
been esteemed and treated as an insurrection not 
against the Jewish magistrates but against the Ro- 
man governor, who had an army at hand imme- 
diately to have suppressed it, and would have se- 
verely animadverted upon those who were forward- 
est in raising it. Being afraid then to act as judges, 
they determine to have him prosecuted before the 
governor for some crime against the Roman state ; 
and to this end employ persons to ensnare him in 
his discourse, which is clearly intimated to us by 
the evangelist Luke : And the chief priests and 
the Scribes the same hoiir sought to lay hands on 
him ; ajid they feared the people : for they j)(^r- 
ceived that he had spoken this parable against 
them. And they ivatched him, and sent forth spies, 
which should feign themselves just men, that they 
might take hold of his words, that so they might 
deliver him unto the ])ower and authority of the 
governor '. From the connection of these verses it 

' Chap. x.\. 19, 20, &c. 
Q 4 


is plain, that as their Jear qfthepeojjle was the rea- 
son they durst not proceed against him themselves, 
so it put them upon the expedient of drawing from 
him something which might render him obnoxious 
to the Roman governor. They contrive a question, 
the answer of which they hoped would be treason 
against the Roman state. The question was, W/ie- 
tlier it he lawful to give tribute to Ccesar ? They 
suspected, probably, that our Saviour was of the 
opinion of Judas the Galilaean, and would have im- 
mediately answered, that it was not lawful ; at least, 
that he durst not give any other answer when urged 
to it, because this was an opinion which had now 
made great progress among the people. And they, 
it is likely, imagined that he chiefly aimed at the 
favour of the people, and stood in awe of their re- 

And when our Saviour was, beyond their ex- 
pectation, betrayed into their hands by one of his 
own disciples, at a time and place which admitted 
of few or no witnesses, and the fittest that could be 
to prevent a popular tumult, they (indeed during 
the night) examine him of the supposed crimes 
against their own law, but early the next ^ morning 
deliver him to the Roman governor, accusing him of 
crimes against the Roman state. Their precipitate 
manner of acting plainly demonstrates the greatness 
of their fear : it was contrary to their law to exe- 
cute any one on a sabbath-day ; they did not dare 
to delay his execution, lest the people should rise ; 
they hasten with him therefore to Pilate as soon as 
possibly they could with any tolerable decency, and 

^ John xviii. 28. Matt, xxvii. 1,2. 


prevail with him to condemn him. And this they 
did the more wiUingly because they herein gratified 
their malice by seeing him die the most ignominious 
and cruel death. And thus our Lord's prediction 
had its accomplishment. 

I have now said all that I think necessary on this 
question ; and what appears to me fully sufficient to 
prove, that it was permitted the Jewish magistrates 
under Roman governors to execute their own laws, 
by inflicting capital punishments. Should any learned 
man be of a contrary opinion, I should be heartily 
glad to see his reasons published to the world, and 
should think myself not a little obliged to him to be 
set right in any thing wherein I am mistaken. As 
this is a question that has not yet been thoroughly 
treated by the learned, it will be no small pleasure 
to me to see it fully discussed, and the truth fixed 
upon a solid and immovable foundation. 


CHAP. VI. Part II. 

Shewing that the authority of the high priest and 
Jewish magistrates, in the affairs of religion, 
extended to foreign cities. 

I PROCEED now to the second question, which 
is, How the authority of the high priest and Jewish 
council could be extended to Damascus and foreign 
cities ? Whatever authority the Jewish magistrates 
might exercise in their own country under the Ro- 
mans, whether by express grant, or by connivance, 
is it at all credible that their power should reach to 
other countries ? St. Paul says, / jiersecuted the 
saints even unto strange cities^. And again, I went 
to Damascus, with authority and commission from 
the chief jyriests "\ And Ananias says of St. Paul, 
Here, that is, at Damascus, he hath authority from 
the chief priests to hind all that call on thy name^. 
In order to clear up this matter, it must be ob- 
served that the letters or commission which St. Paul 
petitioned for, and carried to Damascus, were not 
directed to the magistrates of the city, but to the 
Jews which inhabited it. It is said that he went 
unto the high priest, and desired of him letters to 
Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any 
of this ivay, whether men or women, he might hring 
them hound to Jerusalem''. And he says himself, 
Of the high priest, and all the state of the Elders, 
I received letters unto the h>ethren, that is, the 
Jews at Damascus, arid went to Damascus, to hring 

' Acts xxvi. II. "^ Ver. 12. " Ch. ix. 13, 14. 

" Ch. ix. I, 2. 


them which were there hound unto Jerusalem, for 
to he ^punished p. The authority of the high priest 
and sanhedrim was acknowledged by the Jews wher- 
ever they lived. And it was usual for the Jews dis- 
persed in foreign nations to receive orders and di- 
rections by letters from the great council at Jeru- 
salem, which orders they diligently followed °^. This 
is a thing that may easily be apprehended by us, 
who know how universally the authority of the 
bishop of Rome is submitted to by papists, even 
though they inhabit protestant countries. There 
can be no difficulty therefore to conceive, that the 
chief rulers of the synagogues at Damascus would 
readily comply with the import of the letters sent 
them from the great council at Jerusalem, would 
willingly apprehend and convey to Jerusalem the 
persons described. The only difficulty is, whether 
the magistrates of Damascus would suffer the Jews 
to imprison their subjects, and send them to Jeru- 
salem to be punished. If they would not, Saul had 
been disappointed in his aim ; and it is no unusual 
thing for your hot, furious persecutors to act in 
many things rashly, and meet with disappointments. 
But it was not Saul alone ; the sanhedrim also no 
doubt judged that the magistrates of Damascus 
would permit this to be done ; otherwise, surely they 
would not have come into Saul's measures, and 
granted him the letters he petitioned for. 

Damascus was a city conquered by the Romans, 
who granted to the Jews every where to live accord- 
ing to their own laws. This probably included in it 

P Acts xxii. 4, 5. 1 Vid. Light, vol. i. p. 282, 283. vol. 2. 

p. 681, 2. Seld. de Anno civil, cap. 9. 


a permission to scourge, and use lesser punishments 
in their synagogues, and also to apprehend and send 
to Jerusalem greater delinquents, who deserved a 
more severe animadversion. We know it included 
a permission to send annually from every part of the 
Roman empire large sums of money to Jerusalem, 
which was of far greater consequence than their 
sending now and then a delinquent to be punished. 
Not only those who were born of Jewish parents, 
but all who were proselyted to the Jewish religion, 
contributed to the expenses of divine worship at 
Jerusalem, and usually sent many voluntary offer- 
ings besides '". The amount of these collections was 
so great, that the governors of provinces were some- 
times uneasy at it, and for that reason seized the 
money, and laid a restraint on the Jews that they 
should send no more, as did Flaccus in Asia ^ Ti- 
tus, in the speech he made to the Jews after having 
taken Jerusalem, sets this matter in a just light : 
" The kindness of the Romans, says Caesar, has ex- 
" cited you against the Romans. We first of all 
" gave you the country to inhabit, and placed over 
" you kings of your own nation. Afterwards (that 
" is, when Judaea was made a Roman province) we 
" preserved to you your own country laws, and per- 

■■ Pessinuis quisque spretis religionibiis patriis tributa et stipes 
illuc congerebant. Unde auctae Judseonim res. Tac. Hist. 1. 5. 
n. 5. 

* Cum auriim Judieorum nomine quolannis ex Italia et ex 
omnibus vestris provinciis Hierosolymam exportari soleret, Flac- 
cus sanxit edicto, ne ex Asia exportari liceret. Cic. pro Flacco, 
c. 28. (67.) This was much more I'requently done by the go- 
vernors or magistrates of particular cities. V'id, Jos. Antiq. I. 16. 
c. 2. §. 3. et c. 6. 


" mitted you to live, not only among yourselves, but 
" with others also as you would. But what is most 
" of all, we suffered you to raise a tribute, and col- 
" lect offerings for the Deity, and neither admonished 
" nor forbad those who offered them, although you, 
" our enemies, became richer than ourselves, and 
" armed yourselves against us with our own money^" 
Titus represents it as an instance of greater kind- 
ness in the Romans, that they suffered the Jews to 
collect money in all the provinces, and convey it to 
Jerusalem, than permitting them the use of their 
own laws ; and at the same time shews, that it was 
of far more dangerous consequence to the Roman 
power ". 

There is a decree of Julius Caesar extant, wherein 
is a clause, giving a power to the high priest of the 
Jews to determine all differences that should hap- 
pen about the Jewish institution ^. This clause 
most certainly relates to those Jews who inhabited 
foreign places under the Roman dominion. For it 
is therein decreed, that Hyrcanus and his sons should 
be ethnarchs of the Jews, and enjoy the high-priest- 
hood for evei', according to their country laws. This 
constituted him and his sons after him judges of all 

* Jos. Bell. Jud. 1. 6. c. 6. §. 2. p. 1284, fin. 

" This seems also to be the sense of Tacitus, when he adds 
those words, Unde auctse Judaeoruni res. 

" *Av 8e [/.eTagii yev/jTai t*i; '^■^rvja'iq iiep) t^? 'lovdaluv ayuyvjt;, apeiTKei 
IA.01 KplfTiv yevicrBai itap' avrov, vel potillS nap'' avTo7<;, Ut apud Cod. 
Lugd. Batavos prsestantissinios quondam Isaac. Vossii. Jos. An- 
tiq. 1. 14. c. 10. §. 2. because the grant runs all along to him, 
and to his sons, who were to be his successors. The sons indeed 
were yet to be born when the grant was made, nor do we read 
that he ever had a son. 


who were within the ethnarchy granted him. The 
other clause therefore, whereby he and his sons after 
him are made judges of all differences that should 
happen about the Jewish institution, must unques- 
tionably relate to those who inhabited places that 
were not within his own dominion. For which rea- 
son this law was sent by Julius Caesar, when second 
time dictator, to the magistrates of Sidon, and 
ordered to be laid up among their public records. 
He also commanded it to be engraven in copper 
tables both in Greek and Latin, and to be dedicated. 
To what end, if it did not concern them ? And how' 
could it concern them any otherwise, than that they 
should permit the high priest of the Jewish nation to 
determine all religious differences among the Jews 
which inhabited with them ; and when the case re- 
quired it, should suffer such of them as had trans- 
gressed the Mosaic institution to be sent to Jeru- 
salem, to be there tried before him ? 

It is true, there is another decree of Julius Caesar, 
which conveys some rights in Sidon to Hyrcanus 
and his sons : " The fourth of what was sown was 
" to be paid him by way of tribute every other year. 
" Besides which, they were to pay him tithe in the 
" same manner as had been paid to his ancestors >'." 
Which is a very good reason why tliis decree, making 
over such rights, should be sent to Sidon, and be 
placed among their records ; but can be no reason 
why the former decree, specifying no such rights, 
should be sent there. Sidon was at this time a free 
city. The constituting Hyrcanus ethnarch and high 
priest of the Jews, could give him no right to any 

y Joseph. Aiitiq. lib. 14. 0. 10. §. 6. 


thing in Sidon without a specific grant, which is 
accordingly made him in this latter decree. 

There is another decree of the same Julius Cae- 
sar, preserved by Josephus, together with the fore- 
going, and immediately following the first named, 
whereby he makes the high priest and ethnarch of 
the Jews, patron of the injured Jews^. That this 
is to be understood of all the Jews throughout the 
whole Roman empire is evident, from that it is 
ordered to be engraven in Roman and Greek letters 
upon copper tables, which were to be dedicated in 
the Capitol, and at Sidon and Tyre, and Ascalon, 
and in the temples ; and it is commanded, that this 
decree be carried to all questors and governors of 
every city, and to those states and kingdoms which 
were in friendship with the Romans. And we find 
that Hyrcanus did frequently interpose in behalf of 
the Jews injured in Asia and other parts, and ob- 
tained redress for them '^. Now, for my own part, I 
cannot make the least doubt, but that the first-men- 
tioned decree of Julius Caesar, constituting Hyrca- 
nus judge of all the difl'erences that should happen 
about the Jewish institution, was sent (not to Sidon 
only, but) to all the questors and governors of every 
city, and to all states and kingdoms in friendship 
with the Romans, in the very same manner with 
this, which makes him patron of the injured Jews. 
It may indeed be here asked, Why then is not this 
expressed as well in the one decree as in the other ? 
and I am fully of the opinion, that so it was in the 
original decree ; but our misfortune is, that we have 

^ Antiq. 1. 14. c. 10. §. 3. ^ Ibid. §. 11, 12. 20. 22. 


parts only, and not the whole of these decrees, trans- 
mitted down to us ^. 

That the Jews had a court in every city wliere 
any considerable number of them inhabited, to de- 
cide all controversies that should happen among 
them in religious affairs, cannot, I think, admit of a 
doubt : since without this they could not well live 
agreeably to their own laws, and since it is so fully 
expressed in the decree of Lucius Antonius, directed 
to the magistrates of Sardis : " The Jews came to 
" me, and signified that they held assemblies of their 
" own according to their country laws from the be- 
" ginning, and had a place of their own in which 
" they determined affairs and controversies that 
" arose among themselves : and petitioning me, that 
" it might be lawful for them to continue this, I de- 
" creed to permit them ^." To whom should appeals 
lie from these courts ? Was it not natural that the 
Jews should desire, that in all affairs too difficult to 
be determined by these courts, they should remit 
the cause to the high priest and sanhedrim at Jeru- 
salem ? This is the very thing granted them by the 
forementioned decree of Julius Caesar'', 

We have no particular account, indeed, that they 

^ Vid. §. 3. et 5. et not. ad §. 3. et 7. 

^ Aiitiq. 1. 14. c. 10. §. 17. 

'' It was for this great favour, probably, that the Jews disco- 
vered such excessive sorrow at his death : In suinnio publico 
luctu exterarum gentium niultitudo circulatim suo quaeque more 
lamentata est, priecipueque Judaei, qui etiam noctibus continuis 
bustum frequentarunt. Suet. Jul. c. 84. n. 8 : whereas the Roman 
people remained there but one night. Vid. Not. Pitisci. Appian. 
B. C. II. p. 521. 


were ever interrupted in this privilege of appealing, 
as we find they often were with regard to some other 
privileges, such as the exemption from being enlisted 
in the Roman army, and sending their collections to 
Jerusalem ; but the reason is plain. The cases of 
appeal wherein the parties were obliged themselves 
to attend at Jerusalem seldom happened ; and the 
cases wherein either of the parties were unwilling 
to go, and it was necessary to use force, much sel- 
domer : and we may take it for granted, that when 
persons had so far transgressed the Mosaic institu- 
tion as to deserve the animadversion of the high 
priest and sanhedrim at Jerusalem, they usually re- 
nounced Judaism, and conformed to the rites and 
customs of their heathen neighbours ; in which case 
the high priest had no more power over them. 

To all that has been now said, it may be objected, 
that this decree of Julius Caesar extended only to 
Hyrcanus and his sons, who should succeed him in 
his ethnarchy and priesthood ; and therefore does 
not reach the times we are speaking of, when St. 
Paul went to Damascus : for none of the offspring of 
Hyrcanus were then high priests. The reply to this 
is, that there was afterwards a decree made by Au- 
gustus Caesar, that the Jews should enjoy their own 
laws in the same manner as they had done under 
Hyrcanus ^. By comparing the preface of this de- 
cree with that of Julius Caesar first quoted by us, it 
is easy to perceive that Augustus had that before 
him when he made this. The decree of Julius Cae- 
sar is introduced thus : '•' Forasmuch as Hyrcanus 
" the son of Alexander the Jew, both now and in 

'' Jos. Antiq. 1. 16. c. 6. §. 2. 


'• former times, as well in peace as in war, has shewn 
" both fidelity and industry in our aflfairs, as many 
" ffenerals have testified of him, and in the last war 
" at Alexandria came to our assistance with one 
" thousand five hundred auxiliaries, and being sent 
" by me against Mithridates, exceeded all the army 
*' in bravery." The decree of Augustus begins thus : 
" Forasmuch as the Jewish nation have been found 
" grateful to the Roman people, not only at this pre- 
" sent, but in past times, and especially under my 
" father Caesar the emperor, and particularly their 
" high priest Hyrcanus, it seemeth meet to me, and 
" my council, that the Jews use their own customs 
" according to their own country laws, as they used 
" them under Hyrcanus." This law was made by 
Augustus upon complaint of the Jews of Asia and 
Cyrene, that they were interrupted and hindered in 
some part of their customs by the cities where they 
dwelt, and is ordered by him to be dedicated in that 
most famous temple erected to himself by the com- 
munity of Asia. This is a further proof, that the 
clause alleged from the decree of Julius Caesar 
reached the Jews of all i)laces under the Roman 
dominion. It does not appear that the Jews had 
allowance to live according to their own country 
laws in foreign cities by virtue of any decree of 
Julius Caesar now extant, excepting this : and this 
does not enact that they should so live, but takes it 
for granted that they did so live by virtue of former 
laws passed in their favour; and the particular it 
enacts is, that Hyrcanus and his sons after him 
should be judges of all their differences in religious 
affairs. Augustus, having this very edict before 
him, further decrees, that the Jews in Asia, Cyrene, 


and throughout the Roman empire, should use their 
own customs, according to their own country laws, 
in the same manner as they had been used by them 
under Hyrcanus the high priest. Which, as it fully 
shews that the alleged clause related to all the Jews 
under the Roman government, so it gave to the high 
priest and sanhedrim at Jerusalem the very same 
power which had been granted to Hyrcanus and his 
sons by Julius Caesar, and constituted them judges 
of all the disputes in religious affairs that should 
happen among the Jews inhabiting any part of the 
Roman empire. 

If Damascus was at this time under Aretas king 
of Arabia Deserta, as we know it was a few years 
after, when St. Paul made his escape from a window^, 
he was a king subject to the Romans, and durst not 
act in contradiction to their laws. It is very pro- 
bable also, that in the present case he had not the 
least inclination so to do. It is not impossible but 
he might himself be a Jew : some of the Arabians 
were so ^. This we know, that his daughter was a 
Jewess, because he had married her to Herod, te- 
trarch of Galilee ^. It is not likely therefore that 
he would be less favourable to the Jews than were 
the Romans. 

' 2 Cor. xi. 32, 33. ^ Sale's Prelim. Disc, to the Alco- 

ran, p. 22, pr. '' .Tos. Antiq. 1. 18. c, 5. §. i. 


More Jewish customs confirmed. 
ST. PAUL says, When the saints were put to 
death, I gave my voice against them'^. This is 
thought to relate to the death of St. Stephen only. 
For he says, And ivhen the Mood of thy martyr 
Stephen ivas shed, I also was standing by, and 
consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of 
them that sleiv him ^. Likewise St. Luke in re- 
lating the fact says, And the witnesses laid down 
their clothes at a young man^s feet, tvhose name 

was Saul^. A7id Satd ivas consenting to his 

death "\ This is generally understood as the whole 
which is meant by its being said, that he gave his 
voice against the saints when they were put to 
death, that is, that he fully approved of the death 
of St. Stephen, and demonstrated he did so by 
taking charge of the raiment of the witnesses, when 
they stripped themselves to stone him. We read 
not of any other Christians that were put to death 
before his conversion, and for this reason alone is the 
meaning of the words confined to St. Stephen's death. 
But it is not unlikely there might be several others : 
for the History of the Acts is very brief, and doubt- 
less passes over many more things than it relates ". 
If there were several others put to death besides 
St. Stephen, I can see nothing that may hinder us 
from taking the words in their literal sense. Might 

' Acts xxvi. lo. "^ Acts xxii. 20. 

' Acts vii. 58. "^ Acts ix. i. 

" Vid. 2 Cor. xi. 23, &c. where you will find many facts even* 
ill the history of St. Paul, which are not related in the Acts. 


not St. Paul have been a judge in one of the courts 
of Twenty-three ? might he not have been a disciple 
in one of those three orders which always sat in the 
courts of Twenty-three, and upon some of these occa- 
sions have been called upon the bench ° ? That he 
was ordained and raised to the dignity of an elder p, 
the learned Selden says, is not in the least to be 
doubted ^. Vitringa is of the same opinion, and col- 
lects it from that honourable office which was given 
him by the great sanhedrim, being sent as their 
commissioner to all the synagogues. This he com- 
pares with the office which afterwards was known 
in the Theodosian code by the name of apostolus 
patriarch(S % and was next in dignity to that of the 
patriarch himself. 

It may seem strange to some, that St. Paul was not 
excommunicated by the Jews after he turned Christ- 
ian ; for St. John tells us, the Jews had agreed, 
that if any man did confess that Jesus was the 
Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue ^ 
St. Paul, notwithstanding, entered boldly into their 
synagogues wherever he came, and preached that 

° Vid. Seld. de Syned. 1. 2. c. 6. §. 2. p. 1322, 1323. Syne- 
driorum viginti triumviralium fuere judicia — capitalia et crimiua- 
lia omnigena quae hand inter casus illos reservatos reperta. Ibid, 
c. 10. §. 3, p. 1435, prope init. 

P No person could be a judge unless he were first ordained an 
elder, though all elders were not immediately judges. 

1 Presbyteratus autem dignitatem antedictam ab Gamaliele 
accepisse Paulum, antequam Christo nomen dederat, non videtur 
omnino dubitandum. De Syned. 1. 2. c. 7. §. 7. p. 1360. Vid. et 
1. t. c. 14. p. 1099, pr. et med. 

■■ De Synag. vet. 1. 3. p. i.e. 7. p. 707. Quid vetat credere 
hos vere ritu Judaico, &c. 

' John ix. 22. 

R 3 


Jesus was the Christ. He was often scourged by 
them. He says himself, Of the Jews five times re- 
ceived I forty stripes save one^; but we nowhere 
read of his being excommunicated. The Talmud 
explains this to us. It is thence abundantly evident, 
that they were very backward to excommunicate 
the disciples of the wise, the doctors and teachers of 
the law ". If such committed crimes worthy of ex- 
communication, they scourged them, but were un- 
willing to excommunicate them. This is represented 
in the Babylonish Talmud, as having been more 
particularly the custom which prevailed in the Holy 
Land ^. Scourging among the Jews left no mark 
of infamy, nor was any diminution of a person's dig- 
nity, so that tlie high priest himself was subject to 
this punishment, and it might be inflicted on him 
even by the court of Three y. It may possibly be 
asked, how it came to pass that St. Paul submitted 
to be scourged by the Jews without pleading the 
privilege of a Roman citizen, as he did when or- 
dered to be scourged by Lysias, and when beaten 
by the magistrates of Philippi ? The answer is ob- 
vious. Forasmuch as he professed a subjection to 

^ 2 Cor. xi. 24. 

" Neque inter juris studiosos reperitur aliquis, quern temere, 
seu sine suinmadeliberatione, excommunicare fas erat, ne qiiidem 
foro. Maimon. Talmud tora. cap. 7. Vid. Seld. de Jure Nat. 1. 4. 
c. 9. p. 487, Vitr. de Synag. vet. 1. 3. p. i. c, 2. p. 774, 775. 

^ Gemara i\d tit. Moed katon et ad lit. Pcsachim. Vid. Seld. 
de Syned. 1. 1. c. 7. p. 854. Biixtorf. Lex. p. 2464, and 2465. 
For the same reason probably they did not excoinminiicate Christ 
himself; for the people heard him as a prophet, a great rabbi, or 
teacher. Vid. Vitr. de Synag. vet. 1. 3. p. i. c. 2. p. 780. 

>' Seld. de Syn. 1. 2. c. 10. §. 4. p. 1437. §. 6. p. 1440, c. 13. 
^6. p. 1503. ^. 9. p. 1515. ct 1. 3. c. 8. §. 2. p. 1665, 


the Jewish laws, it was in vain for him to plead this 
privilege. The Romans allowed the Jews the use 
of their own laws. Roman citizens themselves, if 
Jews, were to undergo the penalties prescribed in 
the Jewish laws^. 

§. 2. St. Paul being an ordained elder, doctor, or 
teacher, there cannot be much difficulty in under- 
standing how he was admitted to preach in all the 
synagogues which he entered. The same thing may 
be said of Barnabas ; for he also is called a doctor 
or teacher^. But can the same thing be said of our 
Saviour and the twelve apostles ? It may doubtless 
be alleged, that from the many and great miracles 
they performed they were taken for prophets by the 
people ; and it cannot be easily supposed, that under 
the Jewish institution there was not always a per- 
mission for such to speak and teach in their syna- 
gogues*^. But if we consult Maimonides and the 
Talmud, we shall find that it was allowed to all per- 
sons among the Jews to speak in their synagogues^. 
And the same liberty, we are told, has continued 
among them even down to modern times'^. 

It is now, I think, unknown, and at this distance 
of time it is no manner of wonder it should, how the 
doctors and teachers distinguished themselves, so as 
to be taken for such when they entered the syna- 

z Vid. Seld. de Syn. 1. 2. c. 15. §. it. fin. p. 1564. 

^ Acts xiii. I. 

^ Vid, Lightfoot, vol. i. p. 612, 613. vol. 2. p. 136, pr. 

"^ Taanith, cap. 4. §. 2. Vid. Vitr. de Synag. vet. 1. 3. p. i. 
c. 7. p. 705. 

'' Reliqvio tempore transiens forte hospes, aut quicunque alius, 
qui eruditionis fiduciam habet, atqiie se aliquid recitatione digmim 
excogitasse opinatur, de eo disserere instituit. Leo de Modena in 
Wagensellio. Vid. Vitr. de Syn. p. 705. 
R 4 


gogue. That they were known for such, is gene- 
rally concluded from a passage in the Acts. When 
Paul and Barnabas were in the' synagogue of An- 
tioch in Pisidia, it is said, the rulers of the syna- 
gogue sent unto them, saying. Ye men and bre- 
thren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the 
people, say on^. It is commonly thought there were 
seats in every synagogue peculiar to those who came 
with a design to teach ; that the rulers therefore 
might well know that Paul and Barnabas designed 
to speak, from their seating themselves in those 
places. This, I think, has no other foundation than 
those words, that Paul and Barnahas ivent into the 
synagogue, and sat down ; that is, say learned men 
who are of this opinion ^, in the seats appointed for 
the doctors and teachers. The learned Dr. Light- 
foot, in one part of his works, supposes they might 
be distinguished by their phylacteries". But pos- 
sibly Paul and Barnabas might have given notice of 
their intention to the rulers when they first entered 
the synagogue, or might have signified to them by 
a messenger, when the reading of the Law and the 
Prophets was over, that they waited only for their 
consent. Indeed, it is almost endless to indulge con- 
jecture in things of such a latitude, which might 
have happened so many different ways. 

'^. 3. St. Paul, though educated at the feet of Ga- 
maliel, and an ordained elder or rabbi, was also bred 
up to a mechanic business, by the exercise of which 
he not seldom earned his living. He says to the 
Ephesian elders, Ye yourselves know, that these 

• Acts xiii. 14, 15. •" Lightfoot, vol. 2. p. 689. Vitr. de 

Syn. 1. 3. ]). I . c. 7. p. 709, 7 10. s Vol. i. p. 61 1. 


hands have mifiistered unto my necessities^ and to 
them that were with 7ne^\ And to the Thessalonians, 
Neither did we eat amj man's hread for nought ; 
hut ivrought with labour and travail night and day, 
that we might not he chargeahle to any of you'. And 
to the Corinthians the same^. We are also informed 
what this mechanic business was. For St. Paul meet- 
ing with Aquila and Priscilla at Corinth, it is said, 
tliat because he was of the same craft, he abode 
ivith them, and wrought : for hy their occupation 
they ivere tentmakers'^. However strange this may 
seem to us, among whom persons that are bred to 
any learned profession are seldom or never taught 
any mechanic business, yet was it a thing commonly 
practised among the Jews. We read that Rabbi 
Jose was brought up a tanner or leatherdresser. 
Rabbi Judas a baker "\ Rabbi Johanan a shoemaker". 
And Maimonides tells us that some of the greatest 
of their wise men or rabbles have been hewers of 
wood and drawers of water °. It seems indeed to 
have been a maxim generally followed by persons of 
all stations among them, to bring up their children 
to some trade. This is one of the things said in 
the Talmud to be commanded a father towards his 
son, To teach him a trade. And Rabbi Juda says, 
" He that teaches not his son a trade does as if 

^ Acts XX. 34. ' 2 Thess. iii. 8. Vid, et i Thess. ii. 9. 

^ I Cor. iv. 12. ' Acts xviii. 3. 

*" So Drusus translates it. In Lightfoot it \s jailor, misprinted, 
I suppose, for tailor ; for so the word hajiat signifies. Vid. Buxt. 
Lex, p. 719, pr. 

" Drusus in Syn. Crit. in loc. Light, vol. i. p. 612. n. 3. Vid. 
et Grot, in loc. 

° In Talmud torah. Vid. Light, vol. i. p. 612. 


" he taught him to be a thief." And Rabban Ga- 
maliel says, " He that has a trade in his hand, to 
" what is he like ? He is like to a vineyard that is 
" fenced p." Agreeably hereto, we read in Josephus 
that Asineeus and Anilaeiis, who seem to have been 
Jews of condition in Babylon, were put out by their 
mother to learn the art of weaving i. And it is well 
known, that at this day the persons educated in the 
Turkish seraglio, not excluding even the emperors, 
are instructed in some mechanic trade''. 

§. 4. St. Paul having in his way to Jerusalem 
landed at Tyre, and spent some time with the disci- 
ples there, when he and his companions departed 
thence, it is said in the History of the Acts, They all 
hroughf us on our ivay^ with wives and children, 
till we were out of the city : and we kneeled down 
on the shore, and prayed^. The more ordinary pos- 
ture at prayer among the Jews was standing* : but 
in their confessions, supplications, and deprecations, 
and in times of mourning and affliction, they fell 
down upon their knees, and bowed their faces to 
the ground". The great sorrow which affected the 
Epliesian elders at their parting with St. Paul is 
expressly related. Acts xx. 36, 37, 38. The Ty- 

P Tosiphta in Kiddushim. Vid. Light, vol. i. p. 295, prope fin. 
Buxt. Lex. p. 120. et Hottinger ad Gemara Chagigah, p. 122. 

1 Antiq. 1. i8. c. lo. §. i. 

■^ Sir Paul Rycaut's Present State of the Ottoman Empire, 1. i. 
c. 5. '^ Acts xxi. 5. * Vid. Light, vol. 2. p. 156. 

" Vid. Grot, in Matt. vi. 5. Luc. xxii. 41. Eph. iii. 14. Vitr. de 
Syn. vet. 1. 3. p. 2. c. 16. p. 1072, 1073. The Mahometans 
change their postures according to the different parts of their 
prayers, which they seem to have learnt of the .Jews. Vid. Reland. 
de Relig. Mahum. and sir John Chardin's Account of the Religion 
of the Persians. 


rian disciples doubtless were not less deeply af- 
flicted. For the Holy Spirit had made known to 
them the difficulties and dangers he was to undergo 
at Jerusalem''. 

The seashore was esteemed by the Jews a place 
most pure, and therefore proper to offer up their 
prayers and thanksgivings to Almighty God. Philo 
tells us, that the Jews of Alexandria, when Flaccus 
the governor of Egypt, who had been their great 
enemy, was arrested by the order of the emperor 
Caius, not being able to assemble at their syna- 
gogues, which had been taken from them, crowded 
out at the gates of the city early in the morning, 
went to the neighbouring shores, and standing in a 
most pure place, with one accord lifted up their 
voices in praising God^. Tertullian says, that the 
Jews in his time, when they kept their great fast, 
left their synagogues, and on every shore sent forth 
their prayers to heaven ''. And in another place, 
among the ceremonies used by the Jews, mentions 
oratlones littorales, the prayers they made upon the 
shores ^ And long !)efore Tertullian's time there 
was a decree made at Halicarnassus in favour of 
the Jews, which among other privileges allows them 
to say their prayers near the shore, according to the 

" Acts xxi. 4. This I take to be the meaning, comparing the 
words with ch. xx. 23. The Spirit did not forbid his going, for 
doubtless then he would not have gone ; but the disciples, through 
the Spirit, foreseeing the great danger his life would be in, were 
earnest and importunate with him not to go. 

y In Flac. p. 982, D. 

^ De Jejun. c. 16. n. 103. Relictis templis. Synagogues are also 
called temples by Josephus. Vid. Vitr. de Syn. vet. 1. i. p. i. c. 4. 
p. 129. 

= Adv. Nat. 1. I. c. 13. 


custom of their country^'. It is hence abundantly 
evident, that it was common with the Jews to 
choose the shore as a place highly fitting to offer 
up their prayers. I know the place last recited is 
otherwise translated by some learned men % who un- 
derstand the words of the decree as a permission to 
erect yj/'o*<??/c'//<^, oratories or synagogues, near the, 
sea. And it must be owned the words will well 
bear that interpretation. But the sense I have given 
them appears to me full as just and easy'^, and I 
think agrees better with what is said by Philo and 

It has indeed been the opinion of many learned 
men, that the Jews chose to build their synagogues 
on the seashore, or the banks of a river, or near 
some fountain. To this purpose is alleged that pas- 
sage, Acts xvi. 13. And on the sabhath we went out 
of the city to a river side, where prayer was wont 
to he made. Which is translated by them. Where 
there was by law or custom a proseucha or ora- 
tory^. But it is far from being certain that this is 
the true meaning of the place ^. The words may 
signify nothing more than that the Jews of Philippi 

^ Jos. Antiq. 1. 14. c. 10. §. 23. 

<= Hudson, and Lardner's Cred. b. i. ch. 3. p. 226. 

'' \\fo(Tivxcc<; TtoietaBai, a phrase used I Tim. ii. i. It is true, Ha- 
licarnassus was a large city ; but can it be supposed, that at the 
time when this decree was made the Jews were so poinilous as to 
need more synagogues than one ? In the decree of Sardis, which 
was also a large city, it is only said. Let there be a place given 
them in which they may meet with their wives and children. 
Jos. ibid. §. 24. 

<^ Whitby, Drusius, Grot, in loc. Lardner, in his Cred. b. i. c. 3. 
p. 225. 229. translates it. Where it had been thought fit that the 
oratory should be. 

*" Vid. Vitr. de Syn. vet. 1. i. p. i. c. 4, p. 1 24, &c. 


were wont to go and offer up their prayers at a cer- 
tain place by the river side, in the same manner as 
we have observed other Jews, who lived near the 
sea, were accustomed to do upon the seashore. An- 
other proof of this opinion is taken from a few lines 
of the poet Juvenal^, which import, that the Jews 
at Rome were possessed of a place without the gate 
Capena, where was a fountain, and plenty of water ^'. 
It is supposed that they chose this situation of their 
oratories or synagogues for the greater conveniency 
of washing. For they looked upon themselves as 
obliged to wash their hands always before they be- 
gan their prayers', and probably preferred the sea- 
water, if near, to any other"^. 

It is so well known that the hours of prayer in 
the synagogues were the same with those appointed 
to offer up the daily sacrifices in the temple^, that it 
is almost needless, I think, to mention to you, that 
in exact conformity hereto the ninth hour of the 
day is spoken of in the Acts of the Apostles as the 
hour of prayer™. 

§. 5. It is related, that certain of the Jews handed 

^ Siibstituit ad veteres arcus, madidamque Capenan), 
Hie ubi nocturnse Numa constitiiebat amicse : 
Nunc sacri fontis nemus et delubra locantur, 
Judseis. Sat. III. ii. 

^ Vid. Fest. Pomp, ad voc. Fontinalin. Vitr. de Syn. vet. I. i. 
p. I . c. 1 1 . p. 2 1 8. ' Vitr. de Syn. vet. 1. i . p. i . c. 1 1 . 

p. 217. et 1. 3. p. 2, c. 18. p. 1095. et c. 19. p. 1 109. Spencer 
de Leg. Heb. 1. 3. Diss. 3. c. 3. §. 2. p. 1016. 

•^ 'fi^ Sfc e6o<; ecTTj nzaa-i Toti; 'lovSa/o*^, a.'noviil'dy.evoi t^ QaKd<7cry\ t«{ 
XUpaq, ok; av iji/^«vto irpoi; rov &eov. Aristieae Histor, LXX. Inter, 
p. 34. in Hody, p. 131, prope init. in Ilavercamp. p. 131, pr. 

' Vitr. de Synag. vet. Proleg. c. 4. p. 42. Seld. de Jure Nat. 
1. 3. c. 3. p. 287. Light, vol. 2. p. 649. >" Acts iii. i. Vid. 

Grot, et Whitby in loc. 


together, and tmund themselves binder a curse, say- 
???g, that they would neither eat nor drink till they 
had hilled Paul ". This is looked upon by the learned 
Selden as a particular form of excommunication °. 
For it was usual among the Jews for private persons 
to excommunicate both themselves and others p. And 
it is not improbable that these conspirators laid them- 
selves under all the curses that were wont to be de- 
nounced or understood in an excommunication, after 
the same manner as those of the sect of the Essenes 
bound themselves by horrid oaths, and under the 
penalty of excommunication, to observe all the rites 
peculiar to that sect^'. 

It may seem strange perhaps that these persons 
should be represented as going to the Jewish ma- 
gistrates, laying before them the conspiracy they had 
made, and desiring their assistance in the carrying 
it on, and this without any discountenance or repre- 
hension from tliem"^. But it must be considered, that 
as St. Paul had no greater enemies than the Saddu- 
cees, and that far the greater part of the Jewish 
magistrates were at this time of that sect, so the 
method proposed for taking away his life was not 
inconsistent with the maxims of government held 
even by the Pharisees. From their perverted oral 
tradition, and the example of Phinehas, it was made 
a rule among them, that a private person might kill 
one who had forsaken the law of Moses. Of this 
there is the clearest proof, not only in the Talmud% 

" Acts xxiii. 12. " De Jure Nat. 1. 4. c. 7. p. 472. et de 

Syned. 1. i.e. 7. p. 857. p Seld. de .lure Nat. 1. 4. c. 8. 

p. 478. et de Syned. 1. 1. c. 7, p. 829, fin. 830. 

•i Jos. de Bell. Jud. 1. 2. c. 8. §. 7, 8. Vid. Seld. de Syn. 1. i. 
c. 7. p. 857, 858. ' Acts xxiii. 14, 15. * Sanhed. c, q. §. 


but in Philo* and Josephus". It was of the crime 
of apostasy St. Paul was accused. The Asiatic Jews, 
when they laid hands on him in the temple, cried 
out, MeJi of' Israel, help : This is the man that 
teacheth all men every where against the people^ 
and the law, and this place. And they would at 
that time have put him to death without the form 
of a trial, had he not been wrested out of their 
hands by an armed force '^. There are many ex- 
amples of this kind to be found in the Jewish 
writers y. It is not in the least to be admired there- 
fore, that the chief priests and elders, who had an 
inveterate hatred against St. Paul, were far from 
discountenancing this method of taking away his 
life, or that they should themselves afterwards de- 
termine to execute it''. 

It may again be thought, that if these conspira- 
tors had no apprehensions from their own magis- 
trates, they had just reason to dread the power 
of the Roman governor ; and that it is not to be 
supposed he would sit still and see public justice 
thus violated and affronted, and murder committed 
with impunity. But Josephus informs us, that the 

ult. Gemara Bab. ibid. fol. 8i, b. et Hieros. cod. tit. fol. 27. col. 
2. §. 1 1. ^ De Sacrificantibiis, p. 855, E. de Monarchia, 1. i. 

p. 818, 819. " Antiq. 1. 12. c. 6. §. 2. 1. 4. c. 8. §. 45. Vid. 

Grot, de Jure Belli, 1. 2. c. 20. §. 9. n. 5. Seld. de Jure Nat. 1. 4. 
0. 4. p. 456, &c. Larduer's Cred. b. 1. eh. 9. p. 459, &c. 

"" Acts xxi. 28, &c. 

y Under Ptolemy Philopator in Egypt, 3 Mac. vii. 12 — 15. by 
Mattathias, i Mac. ii. 24, 25, 26. and a number who conspired 
against Herod, not unlike this conspiracy against St. Paul, Jos. 
Antiq. 1. 15. 0. 8. §. I — 4. Vid. et Phil. 1, 3. de Vita Mosis, 
p. 685, b. 

^ Acts XXV. 4. 


sicarli or private murderers were much encouraged 
and increased under the government of Fehx. For 
he employing such to assassinate Jonathan the high 
priest, they went on from that time to despatch 
whom they pleased without fear^ It is not at all 
surprising therefore that we read of such a combi- 
nation as this towards the end of his government : 
and from thenceforwards these sicarii or xelotce, for 
I think Josephus means the same persons by both 
names, were so multiplied, that they soon destroyed 
all remains of the people who had any sense of that 
which is right and good, and then hastened the 
ruin of the city and temple. It has been asked, 
What became of these conspirators against St. Paul's 
life ? for, not having accomplished what they vowed, 
did they neither eat nor drink? We read in the 
Talmud, that it was as easy to loose as to bind : 
the same person who laid on the excommunication 
and curse could also take it off ^ ; and particularly 
with regard to vows of not eating and drinking, any 
of their rabbles or wise men could absolve them ''. 

J. 6. We read in the Acts of the Apostles of some 
Jews that were exorcists ', that is, persons who by 
certain adjurations undertook to cast out evil spirits 
from those who were possessed. It is of the same 
sort of persons our Saviour speaks in those words. 
If I by Beehelmh cast out devils, hy whom do 
your children cast them out^t He is there discours- 
ing with the Pliarisees, and appeals to those of their 
disciples (for that is to be understood here by the 

■' Antiq. I. 20. c. 7. §. 5. de Bell. Jiid. 1. 2. c. 13. §. 3. 
>' Seld. de .Ture Nat. 1. 4. c. 8. p. 480, fin. et 481. de Syned. 
1. I. p. 867. <■ Light, vol. 2. p. 703. '' Acts xix. 13. 

« Matt. xii. 27. 


word children) who were exorcists, whether evil 
spirits were to be cast out by the assistance of Beel- 
zebub. That there were people of this profession 
among the Jews, is not only evident from several 
Christian writers of the second and following ages^, 
but from Josephus, who tells us, that Solomon com- 
posed incantations, and left forms of adjurations, by 
which the evil spirits were so cast out of the pos- 
sessed as not to return any more ; and that this 
method of cure had been greatly in use from the 
days of Solomon down to his own time. He gives 
us also a particular instance of one Eleazar, a Jew, 
who by this means dispossessed several demoniacs in 
the presence of the emperor Vespasian, his sons, the 
chief officers of his army, and a great number of sol- 

The learned Mr. Joseph Mede says, that " he 
" marvelled how these demoniacs should so abound 
" in and about that nation, which was the people of 
" God, (whereas in other nations, and their writers, 
" we hear of no such,) and that so, as it should 
" seem, about the time of our Saviour's being on 
" earth only, because in the time before we find no 
" mention of them in scripture. The wonder is yet 
" the greater, because it seems, notwithstanding all 
" this, by the story of the Gospel, not to have been 
" accounted then by the people of the Jews any 
" strange or extraordinary thing, but as a matter 
" usual, nor besides is it taken notice of by any 
" foreign story ^." The occasion of this marvelling 

'"Justin. Mar. Dial, cum 'I'ryp. p. 3ii,C. Iren. 1. 2. c. 6. §. 2, 
pr. etfin. Orig. contra Celsum, I. i. p. 17. 1. 4. p. 183, i84.Epiph. 
Hser. 30. n. 10. s Antiq. 1. 8. c. 2. §. 5. p. 339. 

'' Disc9urse on John x. 20. Works, p. 28, 29. 



is the mistake of some plain facts, which the good 
man himself in his following discourse sufficiently 

The first mistaken fact is, that demoniacs abound- 
ed in the Jewish nation alone ; that in other na- 
tions, and their writers, we hear of no such. On 
the contrary, it is certain that they were in other 
nations, and that they are much spoken of in the 
ancient Greek and Latin authors, if not always 
under the very name of demoniacs^ yet under se- 
veral other names, which we know signify the same 
thing; such as evpvKkeiTai^'^, vvjX(f>oXy]7rToi^f Qeo(j>op'riTog™, 

' Yet Aristophanes says, KaKolaifAw^i, thou art mad, thou art 
possessed. Vid. Plut. act. 2. seen. 3. p. 40, And Socrates in Xe- 
nophon uses the word ha.11/.ovav in the same sense. Vid. Mem. 
p. 709, C. The word haty.ovX,oi^ivcv^, commonly used in the New 
Testament, is also found in Thrasyllus de iEgyptiacis, (supposed 
to be the Thrasyllus mentioned by Suetonius, Tacitus, and Dio, 
as the intimate of the emperor Tiberius :) Tew^iiai 8' eV air^ KiOo^ 
Ttoiii Se TT/jo? Tot? hatfAwtC^oiKivctvc,' a/xa •yccf Ttpoa-rfd^vai Ta.7(; ptiuv, 
aitepx^Tai to hai/Aoviov. Vid. Plut. de Fluviis, p. 1 159. The same 
passage is quoted by Stobseus. Vid. Maussaci not. ad Plut. Plu- 
tarch also uses the same word : Oi fjidyot tov^ Sai/xovi^ajwci/sv? xeKevova-t 
TO. 'Ecjifcrta, ypdiA.i/.aTac •Kfoi; avTolq KaraKfyeiv. Symposiac. 1. 7. quaest.5. 
prop. fin. et Jos. Ant. 1. 8. c. 2. §. 5. 

^ OvToq {EvpiKAYji) i? iyyaa-Tpii/.v6o(; Xeyera* 'A6/jv7)0-t dXrjdrj ixxvTfvo- 

/*evo? S<a Toil tvvj:a.pxovTO!; avrS Sai/Ao^o? eyyaa-r purai he, ko.) evpv- 

xXetTat eKoKoZvTO tvTivBev iravre? ol (/.aiTtvofAevoi, onto EipvKKeovi irpurov 
toCto 'Ttof^a-avrot;. Schol. in Aristoph. Vesp. p. 503, pr. Vid. Plat. 
Sophista, J). 176, E. Toi.; lyyaaiptf/.iiDovt;, tiipvKAeai ndXat, vvv) ntv- 
6uva,(; -npoaayoptvojAivov!;. Plut. de Orac. Def. p. 4 1 4, E. 

' Plato in Phaed. p. 1216, E. et 'Ttto t5v vvi/.<puv ivOova-ida-u, 
p. I 2 18, F. 

"^ */)tvojiAaM7? TK el Btacpopi^TOi, spoken of Cassandra, ^schyl. 

Agam. V. I 149. Tl\€7<TT0V ju.evTOi tZv 6eo<j)op-^ruv wX^flo^— — — fV avrrj 

(Ko/iAavjt). Slrabb, 1. 12. p. 535, D. 


6eoXYj'7rTog'\ ^oi/3o\Yi7rToi° 7rv6ave$^> bacchantes'^, cer- 
ritiy larvati^', lymphatici^, nocturnis diis, Faunis- 
que agitati^ The damsel that had the spirit of 
divination, spoken of in the Acts of the Apostles, 
is not called there by the name of a demoniac, 
notwithstanding St. Paul cast a spirit or demon 
out of her". And is it not evident, that both 
the philosophy and theology of the ancient hea- 
then almost necessarily suppose this fact? To 
what end were their many lustrations^? Did not 

" Pint, de Herod. Malign, p. 855, B. Scliol. in Sophoc. Antig. 
ad V. 975. ° Herod. Melpom. §. 13. p. 229. 

P Plut, de Orac. Def. p. 414, E. 

*i Bacchae bacchanti si velis advorsarier, Ex insana insaniorem 
facies. Plant. Amph. act, 2. seen. 2. v. 71. 'Hpi/ Se Ksi,ra/ye'AciTe, 

Kot Tov vi/.eT€pov PaaiXia XeXdQrjKe, Koi (SaK'/^ivei, Ka) imo tov Oedij j/.cx,ive- 
rai. Herod. 1. 4. C. 79* ^a^eo■Ke f/Xv yap ifOeov^ yvvalKac,. Soph. 
Anlig. V. 975. lac, OeoXvi'Ttrc.vt; /Ja/c^a?. Schol. ibid. Vid. et Eurip. 

' Plant. Maen. act. 5. seen. 4. v. 2. Fragm. Amph. v. 5. Cass, 
act. 3. seen. 4. v. 2. Merc. act. 5, seen. 4. v. 20. 22. Vid. Aulul. 
act. 4. seen. 5. v. 15. Larvae — agitant senem. Captiv. act. 3. 
seen. 4. V. 66. Larvae stimulant virum. 

» Plin. Nat. Hist. 1. 25. §. 24. 1. 27. §. 83. 1. 28. §. 63. 1. 34. 
§. 44. 1. 37. §. 12. p. 373, 15. p. 376. Plant. Paen. act. i. seen. 2. 
V. 132, 133. Vid. Not. ibi Heinsii et Turneb. 

f Plin. Nat. Hist. 1. 30. §. 24. " Acts xvi. ]6, &c. 

" Pythagoras was of the opinion, Wivai TcavTa rlv aipa •\ivyjhv e/x- 
7r?\.€&;v' KoX Tovrovi;, taifj-ovai re /cat ^puat; voiA,lZ,€a9ai' Kai vtco toirrjiy itefji.- 

iteaBai avSpamon; tovi; Ivupovt; ei? re Tovrovi; yiveaSai fovi re KaBapj^ohi; 

Kai utforpo'jttaa-[ji.ovi; //.avriKriv re icSiaav, &C. Diog. Laert. 1. 8. §. 32. 
Porphyry says, Ta [/.eiKiyiAara /ca* ra rovrcov, (^(pavXuv ^aiy-ovuv) aito- 
TOoira<a irpo? tov YVKovruva yiverai. And agaui, AI dyve7ai oii Sja roi/q 
Qeoiii TcpciTjyovj/.ivciK;, aKK' «/' oi/roi ((pavXoi 8aj'wo!/6^) aTcoaruai. Euseb. 
Praep. 1. 4. e. 23. p. 174. ElVa) KaBapfMx;, Ao^iov he trpoaOtyuv ekevOepov 
ce ruvle wTj/^aTW)/ Krla-et. Spoken to Orestes, when possessed by the 
Furice. ^schyl. Choeph. v. 1059, 1060. Accordingly, when Orestes 

s 2 


Thalesy, Pythagoras z, Heraclitus% Plato, and the 
Stoics^ affirm, that all things were full of demons ? 
And are not their priests, in giving forth their ora- 
cles, always described as possessed by their gods ^ ? 

is at Apollo's altar, the Furia are represented as all fallen asleep. 
jii^sch. Eumen. v. 46, &c. 94, &c. Aut te piari jubes, homo insa- 
nissime? Plant. Mcen. act. 3. seen. 2. v. 51. Sos, Quseso quia tu 
isthanc, jubes pro cerrita circumferri ? {Circumferre verbum pon- 
tificale est pro lustrare, et lustrations curare. Scalig. not.) Amp. 
-lEdepol, quin facto est opus. Nam haec quidem aedepol larvarum 
est plena. Plant. Amphit. act. 2. v. 144. ©f&TrouTro; le iv tri 6' tZv 
(f>iXn:T^iKZv, a}J\.ac re ■ico'Kkci nefi rovnv tov ^aKy^iZo^ laTopeT napu^o^a, Ka) 
orj woTe rSv Aa.Ke^a,i[/,ovtuv rcci; yvi/aiKa^ (/.avelcoci eKaiSrjpfv, Schol. in 
Aristoph. Elp-^v. p. 703. and 'OpnO. p. 588. The great Epicurus 

himself went a-vv t^ ^avjT/jj €j? ra, oIkHio. KaOccpfAOv^ ai/ayn/tiaKeiv. Diog. 

Laert. 1. 10. §. 4. 

5' T6V Koa-yLov ha,ti/.ova>v irX-fjovj. Diog. Laert. 1. I. §. 27. 

^ Id. 1. 8. §. 32. 

^ Ka* TcavTa i//u;^£v dvcLi kou dat[/,wcov nX-^prj. Id. 1. 9. §. 7- 

^ Plat. Conviv. p. 1194, a. Plut. de Plac. Philos. 1. i. c. 8. Vid. 
et de Orac. Def. p. 415, a, &c. Varron. apud Aug. de Civ. Dei, 
1. 7. c. 6. 

•^ Nvv he TO. fAejiaTa rZv ocyaBuv rj/Atv ylyverat hta. ^avla^, 6ei^ [xevTOt 
ioati 8iSojCtev7j5* ^ re yap 8^ iv Ae'A(f>oti 'jrpocpYJTK;, a" r iv AoSwxii) iepetai, 

l/.ave7aai {/.ev moWa, 8e Ka) KaKa elpyaaavro, &C. &c. Plat. Phaedr. 

p. 1220, C. D. E. MavrtKrjv atppoavvri 6eo? avQpuTcivri heduKev' ovhe)^ yap 
tvvcivi; iipd-Jirerai fA.ccvTiK-^(; iv6eov Ka\ aX'^dovq. Id. TiuJ. p. 1074, D. To 
^aKxeva-if/.ov Ka\ ro ixaviuh(; fAavrevriKvjv -ttoaKyiv tx^t. Plut. de Or. Def. 
p. 432, F. p. 438, a, b. et de Plac. Philos. 1. 5. c i. Vid. Eurip. 
Troad. v. 307. 341. 366. 408. 450. 500. Ejusdem Bacchae, v. 664, 
&c. io9i,&c. et Act. 5. Virg. ^Eneid. 1.6. 77 — 80. Lucan. 1. 5. 
Hi greges (puerorum qui comitantur Apim) repente lymphati fu- 
tura prsecinunt. 'Plin. Nat. Hist. 1. S. §. 71. The ancients, I am 
ready to think, looked upon all madmen as agitated by some of 
their deities. Thus Hercules is represented by Eurip. Here. Fu- 
rens, v. 833, &c. Thus Ajax by Sophoc. Aj. Flagell. v. 51. 60. 
1 18. 172. 401. 452, &c. And Orestes by vEschyl. Choep. v. 1053, 
&c. Eurip. Orest. v. 36. 260, &c. Iphig. in Tauris, v. 285, &c. 
So when Maenechmus acts the madman, he talks to Bacchus and 


The second mistaken fact is, that demoniacs 
abounded in the Jewish nation about the time of 
our Saviour's being on earth only, because in the 
times before we find no mention of them in scrip- 
ture. Were it true that there is no mention of any 
demoniac in the Old Testament, this is no manner 
of proof that there were none in those times. Is 
there any mention made there of hydropics, paraly- 
tics, or lunatics ? Must we conclude therefore that 
there were no persons in those days labouring under 
such diseases ? Had there been one sent from heaven 
to heal those distempers in a miraculous manner, as 
our Saviour did, no doubt we should have found 

Apollo, Bromie, quo me in sylvam venatum vocas ? Malta mihi 
imperas, Apollo. Ecce, Apollo, denuo nie jubes faeere impetum. 
Plant. McEn. act. 5. seen. 2. v. 83. 109. 115. The argument 
which seems to me to have prevailed with the generality of the 
moderns in their laying aside this opinion, is, that madness often- 
times yields to medicine. But this had no weight with the an- 
cients ; for they were fully persuaded, that as possessions were to 
be obtained by the use of certain waters or herbs, so they might 
be delivered from them by medicines : 'H he yfi 'koKkZv imv a'Akuv 

dvvu[Ji.eo)v •ni^ya; ocvtrjcrtv avdpdncaK;, rca,q [Afv eKaTocTiKcci; toc^ Be %fl'>j- 

ffTa^ — TO he (/.avTtKov, pevj/,a kolI %vev[/,a Oetirarov iini kou oaturccrov, av 
Te KaB^ eavTov Si' aepoc, av re f/.eGi' vypov vdf/,aTOi; acpaipyjrat. Plut. de 
Orac. Def. p. 432, D. Sed ibi (Phrygise Gallo flumine) in po- 
tando necessarius modus, ne lymphatos agat : quod in Ethiopia 
accidere his, qui e fonte rubro biberint, Ctesias scribit. Plin. Nat. 
Hist. 1. 31. §.5. Thalassegle pota lymphari homines, obversanti- 

bus miraculis. Theangelida pota magi divinent. Id. 1. 24. 

§• 95- P- 360- And that the possessed might be cured, vid. Plaut. 
Maen. act. 5. seen. 4. Joseph. Antiq. 1. 8. c. 2. §. 5. p. 339. de 
Bell. 1. 7. c. 6. §.3. Tobit, eh. vi. and viii. Plut. de Fluv. p, 1 159. 
The same virtue is also ascribed to this stone, which grows in the 
river Nile, by Aristotle, or whoever was the author of the book 

de Mirabil. SwreXer Se Ka) ro7<; hui[AOvi iivi yevofxevon; Karo^oj?, a/xa yap 
Tf tzporO^vai T«r? p'O'*!', aTcep^^rat to haty,ivK)v. Vid. Maussaci Not. ad 
Plut. Fluv. Plin. Nat. Hist. 1. 25. §. 24. 1. 27. §. 83. I. 30. §. 24. 
1. 37. §. 12. 15. 



that there were as many under the Old Testament 
as under the New. But there having been no such 
occasion given for the speaking of tliem, can we 
wonder that we read not of many of them ? How- 
ever, it is not true that there is no mention made of 
demoniacs in the Old Testament, if the thing, and 
not the word, be hereby meant. For it is said that 
Saul, the first king of Israel, was troubled with an 
evil spirit '^ that is, was a demoniac. And it is evi- 
dent, from the words of Josephus I have already re- 
ferred to, that demoniacs were frequent among them 
from that time downward. For he expressly says, 
that the method of cure instituted by king Solomon 
very much prevailed in the Jewish nation even down 
to liis own time*^. And whereas Mr. Mede says, that 
demoniacs abounded in the Jewish nation about the 
time of our Saviour's being on earth only, there is 
nothing more known, than that almost all writers 
for two or three centuries after, not only Christians, 
but such as were the greatest enemies the Christians 
ever had, mention them as no unusual thing in their 
time, and in other countries than Judaea^. It is an 

'' I Sam. xvi. 14. 16. ^ Kal avT-zj fjiiy^i vZv %af Tifuv -q 

BepaTtila, it'KufTrov Itrx^ei. Antiq. 1. 8. c. 2. §. 5. 

' Plut. Sympos. 1. 7. qu. 5. prope fin. AaliA,ova<; etvdywv. Luc. 
Philopseud. p. 474, E. "Oa-ot rovi honfAOvuvrac, aicaXXdrTOta-i tuv Zu- 
(/.druv. Ibid. p. 477, D. et 478, A. B. ApoUonius relates, that a 
woman canie to the Brachmans, praying relief for her son, who 
was sixteen years of age, hatfjiov^v Se 6J0 «V/j, and had been a de- 
moniac two years. Philostr. de Vit. Apol. I. 3. c. 12. p. 144, 145. 
ApoUonius was himself taken for a demoniac by the hierophant 

at Athens. Ibid. 1. 4. C. 6. p. 175. 'O ^al/AWV iXavyfi a-e ciiK ilU-ra' 

i'Ki\rfiu II apa haij^ovSv to [ji(tpdK€iov. And ApoUonius cast out the 
demon, making him throw down a statue at parting, as an evi- 
dence that he had left hini. Ibid. p. 176, 177. Celsus in Orig. 
p. 333. 416. 417. Porph. de Abstin. 1. 2. §. 43, fin. 46, fin. 47, 


unhappiness, that when learned men, through for- 
getfulness or inadvertency, or through a desire of 
being better informed, drop a doubt in their writ- 
ings concerning any particular passage of scripture, 
the half-learned and the half-thinking eagerly catch 
it up, and insist upon it as an irrefragable argument 
against the truth of the sacred writings. I will be 
bold to say, that five-sixths of the objections against 
the Christian religion, which have of late been in- 
dustriously spread, are of this kind. 

Circumcision s ; resting on the seventh day '^ '» 
keeping fasts ' and feasts '^ ; eating at some times 

fin. The remains we have of Porphyry and Jamblichiis contain 
not a little on the subject of demons. It is certain also, that the 
doctrine concerning demons was one article in the theology of the 
Platonists, as may be seen in the works of Plato, Plutarch, Plo- 
tinus, Maximus Tyrius, Alcinous, Apuleius, Proclus, Julian, and 
Eusebius in Prsep. 1. 4. c. 5. And it appears plainly to have been 
Lucian's intention in writing his Philopseudes to ridicule the grave 
philosophers in and near his own time ; for that their writings 
and discourses were so filled with demons, demoniacs, apparitions, 
and magical operations. Compare what he says with Philostr. de 
Vita ApoU. 1. 4. c. 15. p. 205, A. B. c. 3. p. 165. c. 8. p. 182, 
183, 184. 1. 6. c. 16. p. 303, 304. 1. 8. c. 3. p. 395, B. D. and 
c. 5. p. 4TI, C. 

5 Acts vii. 8. X. 45. xi. 2. and xv. i. Vid. Hor. 1. i. Sat. 5. 
V. 100. et Sat. 9. V. 70. Catull. 45. Juv. Sat. 14. v. 99. 103. Pers. 
Sat. 5. V. 184. Mart. 1. 7. 29. 88. Strab. 1. 16. p. 761, C. et 
p. 824, B. Tacit. Hist. 1. 5. §. 5. Suet. Dom. c. 12. n. 6. 

'' Acts xiii. 14. 27. 42. XV. 21. xvii. 2. and xviii. 4. Vid. Hor. 
1. I. Sat. 9. V. 69. Juv. Sat. 6. v. 158. Sat. 14. v. 96. 105. 106. 
Pers. Sat. 5. v. 184. Tac. Hist. 1. 5. p. 353. 1. 4. Dio, 1. 36. 
p. 36. E. p. 37, C. D. Plut. Symp. 1. 4. qu. 5. p. 671, F. 672, A. 
et de Superstit. p. 169, C. Justin. 1, 36. c. 2. 

' Acts xiii. 2. and xxvii. 9. Vid. Tac. Hist. 1. 5. §. 4. p. ^^■^. 
1. 2. Suet. Aug. c. 76. n. 3, Mart. I. 4. 4. Strabo, 1. 16. p. 761, 
C. et 763, A. Plut. Symp, 1. 4. qu. 5. p. 671, D. Just. 1. 36. c. 2. 

^ Acts xviii. 21. Vid. Juv. Sat. 6, v. 158. Pers. Sat, 5. v. 180, 
&c. Plut. Symp. 1. 4, qu. 5. p. 671, D. E. et 672, A, 


unleavened bread'; making a distinction of meats"'; 
separating themselves from the society of other 
people"; rejecting all images «; worshipping the 
God of heaven alone P; permitting none but Jews 
to enter the temple at Jerusalem f) ; burying their 
dead ' ; together with their firm adherence to Moses 
their lawgiver ^ ; are customs indeed plainly hinted 
in the Acts of the Apostles ; but are so well known 
to have belonged to the Jews, that they need not 
any long and laborious confirmation. 

' Acts XX. 6. Vid. lac. Hist. 1. 5. p. 353. 1. 3. Raptaruin iVu- 
guin argumentuni, panis Judaicus nuUo ferinento, retinet. 

"• Acts X. 14. Vid. Tac. Hist. 1. 5. §. 4. p. 353. n. i. Juv. Sat. 
14. V. 98. et Sat. 6, v. 159. Plut. Symp. 1. 4. qu. 5. 

" Acts X. 28. xi. 3. and xvi. 20, 21. Vid. Jnv. Sat. 14. v. 100. 
T03. 104. Tac. Hist. 1. 5. §, 4. 1. 2. Separati epulis, discreti cu- 

bilibns, §. 5. 1. 3. Ke^wpi'Saxai Se 0,1:0 tZv XomZv avOpditu!/ to. iiept 

T-riv Itanav -KOivB' &'? ejTrejV. Dio, 1. 36. p. 37, B. C. Just. 1. 36. C. 2. 
n. 28. 

" Acts xvii. 29. and xix. 26. Vid. Tac. Hist. 1. 5. p. 353. 1. ult. 
Nulla simulachra urbibus suis, nedum teniplis sunt. Non regibu-s 
liaec adulatio, non Caesaribus honor, p. 354. n. 5, 6. et p. 359. 1. 2. 

O^S' aya.y^jji.a. oiihiv iv avroii ttote to?? 'lepoaoXvy-oi?' fv^ov. Dio, 1. 36. 
p. 37, C. Strabo, 1. 16. p. 760, 1), 761, A. 

V Acts xiv. 15. and xvii. 24. Vid. Ju,v. Sat. 14. v. 97. Strabo, 
I. 16. p. 761, A. Tac. Hist. 1. 5. p. 354. n. 5. Dio, 1. 36. p. 37, C. 

'I Acts xxi. 28, 29. and xxiv. 6. Vid. Tac. Hist. 1. 5. p. 357. 
I. lilt. lUic, immensse opulentiae templum ; — ad fores tantum Ju- 
daeo aditus ; limine propter sacerdotes arcebantur. Jos. Antiq. 1. 15. 
c. II. §. 5, prop. fin. et 1. 8. c. 3. §. 9. and the speech of Titus, 
de Bell. 1. 6. c. 2. §. 4. 

■■ Acts ii. 29. and v. 6. ro. Vid. Tacit. Hist. 1. 5. p. 354. n. 3. 
Corpora condere, qnani cremare e more .^gyplio. 

*" Acts vi. II. 13. 14. and xxi. 21. 28. Vid. Juv. Sat. [4. v. loi, 
102. Tac. Hist. 1. 5. §. 4. 



Grecian customs co7ifirmed. 

^. 1. I HAVE now, I think, considered all the cus- 
toms referred to in the History of the Acts which 
are purely Jewish. There remains one which is 
common to the Jews with most other nations, and 
that is the practice of magic. We read of Bar Jesus 
a Jew, who was a sorcerer % and of Simon a sorcerer 
in Samaria ^ and that many of the Christian con- 
verts at Ephesus, who had used curious arts, 
brought their hooks together, and hurnt them Ite- 
fore all 7nen ^. Nothing is more certain than that 
the arts of sorcery or magic were expressly forbidden 
by the law of Moses '^ Notwithstanding, it is a very 
clear fact that they were practised by many among 
the Jews as well as among the heathen : if any 
credit may be given to the Talmud, twenty-four of 
the school of Rabbi Judah were killed by sorcery % 
eighty womei> sorceresses were hanged in one day 
by Simon Ben Shetah ^ And the gloss says, the 
women of Israel were generally fallen to the prac- 
tice of sorceries. So greatly did the practice hereof 
abound among them, that a skill in this art was re- 

^ Acts xiii. 6. '' Acts viii. 9. '^ Acts xix. 19. 

'^ Exod. xxii. 18. Lev. xx. 27.^Deut. xviii. 10, 11. i Sam. xxviii. 
3. 9. Mishna Sanhed. c. 7. §. 4. Maim, in tract. Sanh. et Abodah 
Zara, c. 6. More Neboch. p. 3. c, 37. Seld. de Jur. Nat. 1. 2, c. i. 
p. 172, et cap. 7. ]). 228. et 1. 7. c. 3. p. 718, et 719. de Syned. 
1. 2. c. 13. §.5. 

^ Light, vol. I. p. 371. vol. 2. p. 244. Hieros. Talm. fol. 18. 
col. 3. 

' Hieros. banh. tbl. 23. 3. Bab. Sanh. fol. 44. 2. See Light, 
vol. 2. p. 244. 


quired as a necessary qualification for a person to be 
chosen into their councils, whether that of seventy- 
one or those of twenty-three, that he might be the 
better able to try and judge the accused, whether 
they were really guilty of this wicked art or not e. 
Nay, several of their elders, judges, or rabbies, 
arrived at so great a proficiency herein, that they 
outdid them who made it their profession^. We 
read also in Josephus, of one Simon a Jew, born in 
Cyprus, a sorcerer, who was a great friend and com- 
panion of Felix the Roman governor '\ in the same 
manner as Bar Jesus, mentioned in the Acts, seems 
to have been of Sergius Paulus, proconsul of Cyprus. 
The same author tells us, that at that time were 
very many sorcerers and deceivers, who, pretending 
to shew wonders and prodigies, seduced great num- 
bers of people after them into the wilderness ^. 

That magic was practised among the heathen is 
a thing too well known to need any proof Their 
philosophers, historians, and poets, agree to confirm 
this fact^ Nay, several of the most renowned of 

s Rabbi Jochanan in Gem. Bab. ad tit. Sauh. c, i. fol. 17. i. 
etad tit. Menachoth, c. 6. fol. 65. t. et Maim. Halach, Sanh. c. 2. 
§. I. See Seld. de Syn. 1. 2. c. 9. p. 141 2, 1413. et Light, vol. 2. 
p. 244. 

» Thus did Rabbi Meer Hier. Sotah, fol. 16, 2. et Rabbi .Jo- 
shua Hierus. Sanh. fol. 25. 4. See Light, vol. i. p. 371. et vol. 2. 
p. 244. 

' Antiq. 1. 20. c. 7. §. 2. Thus Thrasyllus the sorcerer was 
one of the most intimate friends of the emperor Tiberius. Tacit. 
Ann, 1. 6. c. 21, fin. Suet, in Aug. 99. 3. et in Tib, 14. 7. Die, 

••55- P-555- 

^ Antiq. 1. 20. c. 8. §. 6. et de Bell. 1. 2. c. 13. §. 4. o-tk/jo? wo- 


' Vid. Del Rio et Bulenger de Magia. Tibul. 1.2, 45. Hor. 
Sat. 8. Silius Ital. 1. 13. Noris, vol. 3. p. 603. Ovid, &c. 


the Greek philosophers were themselves at no small 
pains to attain a skill in this art, such as Pythagoras, 
Empedocles, Democritus, Plato •". And it deserves 
remarking, that as Simon is said in the Acts of the 
Apostles to have given out himself to have been 
some great one, that is, as the ancients interpret it 
to be, the Deity ", so Pythagoras gave out that he 
was Apollo Hyperboreus °. That there were many 
conversant in the art of magic in the city of Rome 
during the reigns of Augustus, Tiberius, and many 
succeeding emperors, is abundantly evident from the 
Roman history ; and we read of their having been 
banished Italy more than once p. Ephesus, which 
is the place where it is said the Christian converts 
brought together and burnt their books of sorcery, 

^ Certe Pythagoras, Empedocles, Democritus, Plato, ad banc 
discendam navigavere, exiliis verius quam peregrinationibus sus- 
ceptis. Hanc reversi praedicavere ; banc in arcanis habuere. Pltn. 
Nat. Hist. 1. 30. §. 2. Diog. Laert. 1. 8, 24, pr. et 59, pr. Philo- 
stratus would clear tbem of tbis. See De Vita Apoll. 1. i. c. i. 
but it is too plain a fact to be denied. 

" Vid. Grot, in Act. viii. 10. 

° Tbis be did by sbewing bis golden or ivory tbigh. Vid.Porph. 
Vit. Pytb. p. 192, T93. Jamb, de Vit, Pyth. c. 28. p. 127. 131. 
Orig. contr. Cels. 1. 6. p. 280. ^lian. I. 2. c. 26. et 1. 4. c. 17. et 
Diog. Laert. 1. 8. 1 1. How sball we reconcile this with bis me- 
tempsychosis, and with his conversing with Apollo ? Philostrat. 
ubi supra. 

I' Tacit. Ann. 1. 2. §. 27. Ut infernas umbras carminibus eli- 
ceret. §. 28. et 69. 1. 16. §. 30. Quin et facto per magos sacro, 
evocare manes et exorare tentavit. Suet. Ner, c. 34. n. 11. Vid, 
et Plin. Nat. Hist. 1. 30, §.5. They were expelled, an. U. C. 614. 
Valer. 1. i. c. 3. §. 2. Again, 721. Dio, 1. 49, fin. Were forbid 
all prophesying, 761. Dio, 1. 56. And were again banished Italy 
under Tiberius, 770. So that Tacitus says of tbem, Genus ho- 
minum, quod in civitate nostra et vetabititr semper et retinebitur. 
Ann. 1. 2. §. 32. Hist. 1. i. §. 22. et 1. 2. §. 62. 


was so famous for this art, that some particular 
forms of enchantment derived their names from 
thence'', either as having been originally invented by- 
some magician of that city, or as being most in use 
among the Ephesians. I have sometimes thought, 
that the notions which prevailed concerning the 
power of magic were no small hinderance to the 
progress of Christianity. It is very certain that the 
enemies of the gospel, both Jews and heathens, 
ascribed the miraculous works wrought by our Sa- 
viour and his apostles to this power '", and no doubt 
prevailed with many to be of the same opinion. But 
is it possible, that those who looked upon the works 
performed to proceed from no higher an original, 
could conceive them to be any proof of a mission 
from the one only living and true God, or of the 
truth and certainty of the doctrines taught by the 
performers ? 

§. 2. It is said in the Acts, that a certain damsel, 
possessed with a spirit of divination, brought her 
masters much gain hy soothsayitig ; and that Paul 
dispossessed her by commanding the spirit in the 
name of Jesus Christ to come out of her ^. The 
words, which are here properly enough translated 
a spirit of divination, are 7rvey/xa irvOavoi. There was 
a famous temple at Delphi erected to the honour of 
Apollo, who from killing one, who for his cruelty 
was surnamed Python, that is, serpent or dragon, 

'1 Pint. Syiiipos. 1. 7. 9. 5, tin. \'id. verba Menandri, Atbeiiiei, 
Clem. Alex, citata Grotio in Act. xix. 19. et Suid. in voc. 'E^eo-. 
yfa-fA.. "^ Matt. ix. 34. Talmud Bab. Schab. fol. 104. 2. Sanhed. 
fol. 107. 2. See Light, vol. 2. p. 189. Celsus in Orig. 1. i, |). 7. 
22. 24. et 53. Vid. Not. Spenc in Orig. p. 7. col. i. 

^ Ch. xvi. 16. 18. 


had the name of Pythius given him^ The person 
who gave forth oracles at this temple was a woman 
called Pythia, supposed to be inspired and possessed 
by Pythius or Apollo". When she uttered the oracle 
her mouth was shut, and the voice came as from 
her belly or breast ''j and it was understood to be 
Apollo who spoke in her^. There were many per- 
sons of both sexes in other places, who seemed to be 
inspired or possessed in the same manner, whose 
voices proceeded from the same parts of the body^, 
and who were thought to divine or tell things fu- 
ture. These persons were called Pythons % and the 
spirit which spake within them was called the spirit 
of Python^, probably because of the same kind which 
inspired the priestess of Python or Delphi ; for Py- 
thon was also another name for Delphi *^. 

A late writer, who seems unwilling to believe 
that there ever were any persons possessed by de- 

' Strabo, 1. 9. p. 422, 423. Macrob. Sat. 1. i. c. 17. p. 281. 
Basnage, Ann. 51. p. 625. n. 16. Bocbart. Hieroz. p. 2. 1. 3. c. 5. 
p. 383. Potter's Greek Antiq. b. 2. ch. 9. 

" Strabo, 1. 9. p. 419, B. T»ji/ UvQlav hxoiMy/iv to vvevf^a. Vid. 
et Orig. adv. Cels. p. 333. 

^ Potter's Greek Antiq. b. 2. c. 9. p. 246. and ch. 12. p. 268, 
Galen in Glossis. Ilippoc. cit. Grot, in Act. xvi. 16. Hammond, 
in loc. 

>' Orig. adv. Cels. 1. 2. p. 63. 1. 3. p. 125. Schol. in Aristoph. 
Plut. p. 6. col. 2. 

^ Judaei dicunt vocem esse emissani a partibus quae nominari 
non debent. Vid. Seld. de diis Syris, Syntag. i. c. 3. p. 289, 
Menoch. in Syn. Crit. ad i Sam. xxviii. 7. 

" Plut. de Orac. Defect, p. 414, E. 

^ Suid. in voc. llvduvoi;. Schol. in Aristoph. Pint. p. 6. Potter's 
Greek Antiq. b. 2. c. 12. p. 268, 269. 

c Homer. B. I. 519. et Schol. ibi. Pindar. Olymp. od. 6. Cal- 
ling Hym. in Apoil. v. 35. et in Delium, v. 90. et in Dian. v. 250. 


mons or evil spirits, says of the damsel who had a 
spirit of divination, that " when she was discovered, 
" she was disabled from playing this trick any 
" longer. By St. Paul's saying to her, / command 
*' thee to come out of her, no more was or could be 
" meant than to put a stop to the trick the woman 
" used'^." Now, supposing this woman's speaking 
inwardly, as from her belly or breast, were a trick 
of her own acquiring, and noways owing to any 
demon or spirit that spake from within her, this 
author should have shewn how St. Paul's saying 
those words, / command thee to come out ofhet\ 
was a discovery of this trick. I believe all his read- 
ers, as well as myself, must be utterly at a loss to 
know how the pronouncing those words could any 
ways reveal the secret, and convince the by-standers 
that she was a mere impostor, and had no spirit of 
divination within her : would it not rather convince 
them, that in his opinion she had such a spirit 
within her ? But let us again suppose, what is not 
so much as hinted in the text, that St. Paul spent 
mucli time in talking to the people, and shewing 
them, that this woman, by a particular formation of 
the organs of speech, and by long practice, had 
gained a habit of speaking so as that no one should 
see her lips move, and the voice should seem to 
come from her breast. I am yet at a loss to know 
how this could deprive her masters of their gain : 
for surely this would go but a little way towards 
convincing the people that she could not really pre- 
dict things future. Her reputation was established ; 
there was a general belief that she did foretell things, 

"^ Inquiry into the Meaning of Demons, p. 54. 


and a great concourse of people after her to make 
inquiry into their future fortunes. It is expressly 
said that she hrought Iter masters much gain by 
soothsaying. The shewing that it was possible for 
her by long practice to attain the art of speaking 
inwardly, would noways dissuade persons from fol- 
lowing her, so long as they retained a notion that 
she really prophesied. 

We will advance therefore one step further, and 
suppose that St. Paul spent time not only in disco- 
vering the trick of speaking inwardly, but that he 
also argued against her being a diviner or prophetess, 
and plainly laid before them, that she usually made 
her answers in ambiguous and general terms, that 
they much oftener proved false than true, and that 
it was owing to mere accident, if at any time there 
seemed to be truth in what she had said. If we 
judge from the experience we have of mankind, we 
cannot reasonably suppose that these arguments 
should immediately prevail with all the by-standers, 
or indeed any considerable part of them, to lay aside 
the opinion they had entertained of this woman's 
gift. However, we will suppose that all the by- 
standers were at once convinced of the truth and 
weight of the apostle's arguments : would they be 
able immediately to spread the same persuasion 
among all the inhabitants of Philippi ? And if all 
Philippi had believed her an impostor, might not 
her masters have sent her to another city, where, 
by the practice of the same arts, she might still have 
brought them much gain? The plain truth there- 
fore is, St. Paul prevented her future prophesying ; 
or, if the word trick pleases better, he wholly dis- 
abled her from doing the trick any more. He cast 


out the spirit which spake within her, so that she 
was no more heard to speak as from her belly or 
breast. Her masters soon perceived that she was 
no longer inspired or possessed, that she could now 
utter no more divinations or prophecies ; and there- 
fore all hope of their gains from her, whether in Phi- 
lippi, or any other city, were wholly gone*^. 

^ After all, it is a dispute among learned men, whether this 
woman was of the number of eyya-aiflf^vBoi, whether she did 
speak inwardly as from her belly or breast. They say the words 
ex<ii'(rav ■KvvJi/.a, nvOoovo; do not necessarily imply this meaning, but 
only in general, that she was possessed by a spirit of divination, 
or foretelling things to come. And they urge, that when she fol- 
lowed St. Paul, and said, These men are the servants of the most 
high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation, eKpa^e, she 
spake out with a loud and distinct voice. If this were the case, 
what trick had the woman that St. Paul could discover to the 
people ? Vid. Wolfii Cur. in loc. Another thing which demon- 
strates the absurdity of this interpretation is the rage of the mul- 
titude against St. Paul. For no sooner had the masters of the 
girl accused him and Silas to the magistrates, but it is said, that 
the multitude rose up together against them, v. 22. Had he, as this 
interpreter supposes him to have done, convinced the whole city of 
PhilipjM that this maidservant was an impostor, and could foretell 
things future no more than any other ])erson, no doubt they would 
have taken part with St. Paul, and not with the masters of the 
girl. They would have thought themselves obliged to him for 
having discovered the cheat, and preventing their future expense 
in needless and fruitless applications to one who could only amuse 
and deceive them, but not foretell them any thing future. If they 
were incensed against any person, it is natural to suppose it 
should have been against the girl and her masters, for having 
imposed upon them, and tricked them out of their money. But 
that they should take ])art with the masters of this impostor 
against the person who had discovered the fraud, is so contrary 
to all the experience we have of n)ankind, that it is a demon- 
stration of the absurditv of this comment. On tlie other hand, 
if we take the story in the plain and literal sense, how natural is 


And although this affair of possessions is esteemed 
so great a difficulty by many of our modern rea- 
soners and pretenders to philosophy, and can by no 
means gain their assent, yet is it very certain, that 
not a few of the gravest and wisest of the ancient 
philosophers were fully persuaded of its truth. Van 
Dalen himself acknowledges that the Pythagoreans 
and Platonists believed it^; and indeed it appears 
too plainly from their writings to be denied. It 
sufficiently appears also, that the belief hereof was 
not confined to these two sects, but that many other 
philosophers were of the same opinion?. Most of 

it that the multitude of the city should side with the masters, as 
being fully persuaded, that it was not only a great piece of injus- 
tice done to them by the apostle, but a public injury of a very 
heinous nature, they having hereby lost Avhat they esteemed an 
oracle, to which they might apply upon all urgent and doubtful 
occasions ! Nor is there any the least hint in the text of a change 
in the multitude, as though they had been first for St. Paul, and 
afterwards, by some secret management, brought over to side 
with the masters. 

fDeOrac. p. 185. ed. 1683. 

g Zeno, and the whole sect of the Stoics ; Aristotle, and a 
great number of the Peripatetics. Ka) javjv Kal iA,a.vTiKYjv iKpea-rdvai 
"Ttaaav (paa-)v, yi ku) -npovoiccv thai, spoken of Zeno and the Stoics. 

Diog. Laer. 1. 7. §. 149- 01 1,tohko) t^jv lA-avTiKriv (l<Ta.yovcri Ka-ra to 

evBiov, OTrep eo-TJV ivOova-iaa-nKov. ' ApiO-Toriy^'/ji Ka) AiKaia.p'x^rj,; to kut 

iv6ov<Tia(r[/.ov [jiovov itapeiord/yovcri, Koi tov^ Ivelpovi. Plut. de Plac. Phuos. 

1. 5. c. I. Colophonius Xenophanes, unus, qui deos esse diceret, 
divinationem funditus sustulit, reliqui vero omnes praeter Epicu- 

rum divinationem probaverunt Diccearchus Peripateticus cse- 

tera divinationis genera sustulit, somniorum et furoris reliquit. 

Sed cum Stoici omnia fere ilia defenderent, quod et Zeno in 

suis Commentariis quasi semina qusedam sparsisset, et ea Clean- 
thes paulo uberiora fecisset ; accessit acerrimo vir ingenio Chry- 
sippus, qui totam de Divinatione duobus libris explicavit senten- 
tiam, uno prseterea de oraculis, uno de soniniis : quem subse- 


the philosophers who lived after our Saviour's time 
were strong in the persuasion hereof', even those 
who were the greatest enemies the Christians ever 
had, such as ApoUonius' and Porphyry'^. Celsus 
himself, in disputing against the Christian religion, 
lays aside the Epicurean, and supposes the truth 
hereof ^ I think also it may be made very evident, 
that the Christians of the first ages knew well how 
to distinguish between the craft, artifices, and frauds 
of the heathen priests and real possessions"^ 

§. 3. We read in the Acts of Demetrius, a silver- 
smith, which made silver shrines for Diana". That 
Diana was esteemed a goddess, that she was wor- 
shipped, not in Asia Minor alone, but throughout 
the then known world, as Demetrius asserteth°, and 

qiiens, iinum librum Babjlonius Diogenes edidit, ejus auditor : 
duo Antipater: quinque noster Posidonius. Tiill. de Divbi. 1. i. 
§. 5, 6. Vid. et §. 82 — 88. Dixi de Pythagora, de Democrito, de 
Socrate : Excepi de antiquis, praeter Xenophanem, nemineni ; 
adjunxi veterem academiam, Peripateticos, Stoicos : unus dissen- 
tit Epicurus. §.87. 

^ As fully appears by their remaining works, and is set in a 
glaring light by Lucian in his Philopseud. 

' Vid. Philostr. de Vit. ApoU. 

^ Porphyry wrote a book Uepl tru 4k Xoyluv (fyiKoaocpiai;, De Phi- 
losophki ex Oraculis, in which he made a collection of the oracular 
answers given by Apollo and the other gods and good demons, think- 
ing this a sufficient proof of the goodness and efficacy of theology, 
and a fit incitement to the study of divine wisdom. Euseb. Praep. 
1. 4. c. 6. 

' Vid. Grig. adv. Cels. p. 333. 416. 420. 

•" Ibid. p. 333. Euseb. Praep. 1. 4. c. i, 2, 3. Lucian's Pseu- 
domantis drives out the Christians before he begins to shew his 
tricks, quoted by Vandale, de Orac. p. 441. and Vandale's own 
words, p. 443. n. 6. ed. 1683. 

" Chap. xix. 24. vaoiroio'?. Vid. Schol. in Aristot. Rhet. 1. i.e. 15. 

" Vid. Herod. Euterp. 1. 2. c. 137. Pausan. JNIessen. p. 141. 1. 


that she had a most magnificent temple erected at 
EphesusP, are things confirmed by so many authors, 
and so well known, that it would be a needless ex- 
pense of your time to relate the particular passages. 
The word which we translate shrines is in the Greek 
vaovg, temples. Tliat it was the custom with the 
Greeks and other heathen nations to make little 
models of a temple, and place a small image therein, 
in order to carry with them when they travelled or 
went to war^, as also for their private devotion at 
home, is confirmed to us by a variety of ancient au- 
thors^: and indeed the making such temples con- 
tinues to be the custom in some of the more polite 
heathen nations to this day. A very curious one of 
this sort I have seen brought hither from the East 

33. et ubique Strabo ubique Sekl. de Diis Syris Syntag. c. 8. 
p. 385. et c. 13. p. 395. Tac. Ann. 1. 3. §. 61, 62. Liv. 1. i. c. 45. 
Eurip. Iphig. in Tauris. Ulpian. Instit. tit. 22. §. 6. 

P Strabo, 1. J4. p. 640, 641. Pausan. Achaic. p. 207. 1. 9, &c. 
Plin. Nat. Hist. 1. 2,^. c. 14. or §. 21. Solin. c. 40. "Ht 'Eipeaov 
icdyxpva-ov e^ei? oIkov. Aristoph. Neph. p. 162. Xen. de E.vped. Cyri, 
1.5. P-350. Martial, de Spectac. ep. i. Pompon. Mela, 1. 1. c. 17. 
Philo Byzant. de Septem, Orbis Spectac. et Allatici Not. p. 91. 
Vid. Wolfii Cur. in loc. et Basn. An. p. 672. 

1 Asclepiades philosophus deae coelestis argenteum breve 

figmentum, quocunque ibat, secum solitus efferre. Amm. Marcel. 
1. 22. c. 13. Dio informs us, that the famous Roman eagle, or 
ensign so called, was a little temple, in which was placed a golden 
eagle. L. 40. p. 128, D. And Salmasius thinks this is plainly to 
be seen upon Trajan's pillar. Exercit. in Solin. p. 802. and Stewe- 
chius, in a coin of Constantine's. Comment, ad Veget. 1. 2. c. 6. 
p, 119, fin. 2 Sam. v. 21. i Chron. xiv. 12. Virg. ^Eneid. 1. 8. 
V. 678, &c. Tacit. Ann. 1. 15. 29. Vid, Sanctii Com. in 4. lib. 
Reg. p. 105. et 603. et Spenc. de Leg. Heb. p. 816. 

•■ Vid. Herod. 1. 2. ji. 113. 1. 45. Polyb. 1. 6. p. 495, C. Plin. 
Nat. Hist. 1. 36. §. 4. n. 5. 10. et §. 19. n. 2. 
T 2 


Indies. That there should be a great demand for 
the models of so famous a temple as that at Ephe- 
sus, which was esteemed one of the wonders of the 
world, so as to create much trade to the workmen 
employed in making them, is but an easy and na- 
tural supposition. Demetrius made a speech to the 
workmen, which being finished, they cried out. Great 
is Diana of the Epliesians ^ ! 

Afterwards, the whole city being gathered toge- 
ther, are represented as making the same cry*. 
That it was customary with the Greeks to make 
such acclamations in honour of their gods is evident 
from a passage of Aristides, who represents the 
people of Smyrna as shouting in the same manner, 
Great is jEsculapius" ! 

J. 4. The people of Ephesus, having caught Gains 
and Aristarchus, Paul's companions, rushed with one 
accord into the theatre, and Paul also would have 
entered in ; but it is said, that certain of the chief 
of Asia, which were Paul's friends, sent iinto him, 
desiring him that he woidd not adventure himself 
into the theatre^. What we translate certain of the 
chief of Asia, is in the Greek r/vej t\ tvv ' Aaiapywv, 

' Ver. 2 8. t Ver. 34. 

" Serm. Sacr. 2. p. 520. The learned Ez. Spanheim under- 
stands it of the people of Pergamus. De Praest. Niiniis. p. 424. 
And it is certain there was a very ancient temple of ^sculapius at 
Pergamus. Vid. Tac. Ann. 1. 3. c. 63. But it is plain, from the 
foregoing words of Aristides, that this affair was transacted at 
Smyrna. Vid. p. 519, A. There was a temple of jEsculapius also 
at Smyrna. Vid. Serm. Sacr. i. p. 486, A. It was in or near that 
city likewise, if I mistake not, that Aristides made that acclama- 
tion in his dream. Great is .^Esculapius ! p. 514, C. Vid. etiam 
Eisner, in loc. 

" Ver. 29, 30, 31. 


certain of the Asiarchs, that is, principal officers or 
high priests chosen by the community of Asia to 
preside over their feasts and games, which were per- 
formed at certain intervals to the honour of their 
godsy. The temple of Diana at Ephesus was built 
at the common expense of all the Grecian cities in 
Asia ^ : and it is probable, that the temples erected 
to other deities in some other cities were built in 
the same manner. Near these temples were exhi- 
bited public games after a certain term of years % 
and Asiarchs were chosen by the common suffrage 
of all the Grecian cities^ in Asia to preside over 
these games, and to perform the honours due to the 
deity. It is, I think, evident, from the relation in 
the Acts, that they were then celebrating the games 
we are speaking of at Ephesus ^. Upon this account 
the Asiarchs were there present. For this reason 
the people rushed into the theatre. It was in this 
great concourse of people that Demetrius expected 
a brisk trade, which, perhaps, not wholly answering 
his expectation, he might think that St. Paul, who 
had now preached more than two years at Ephesus*^ 
against idolatry, might, in part, have prevented it. 

y Vid. Cujacium, 1. 2. Observ. 13. Ezech. Spanh. de Usu et 
Praest, Num. t. 2. p. 418. Vales, Not. in Euseb. p. 63, 64. Grot, 
in loc. ^ Liv. 1. i. c. 45. Plin. Hist. Nat. 1. 36. §. 21. 

^ Dionys. Hal. 1. 4. c. 25, fin. 

^ This, I think, is the common opinion of learned men. Vid. 
Grot, in loc. Selden Marm. Arund. p. 1569, prop. fin. And is 
taken from Strabo, who expressly says that the Lyciarch was 
chosen by the cities of Lycia, 1. 14. p. 665, A. Vid. Salmas. in 
Sol. p. 566. Usher. Not. in Polyc. p. 200, pr. Vales. Not. in 
Euseb. p. 63, 64. 

'^ Selden is of this mind. Marm. Anmd. p. 1569. et p. 1574, 
fin. '' Acts xix. 8. 10. 

T 3 


The same thing is supposed, by some learned men, 
to be hinted in the speech of the townclerk, when 
he calls the city of Ephesus vecoKopov^, and when he 
speaks of a lawful assembly ^ 

It is a dispute among the learned men, whether 
there were more Asiarchs than one at a time s ? 
Those who admit but one suppose that all who 
had once performed the office retained the title 
during life'\ I must own, I have seen nothing con- 
clusive as yet said by them who contend that there 
was one annual Asiarch only. Tliere are various 
passages in ancient authors which seem to render it 
more probable that there were several who bore that 
high office at the same time'. Some of these, having 
a friendship for St. Paul, sent to him'^ not to adven- 
ture himself into the theatre, because they foresaw, 
that should he come there it would be with the 
utmost hazard of his life : for the people being vio- 
lently enraged against him, would doubtless have 
demanded that he should be thrown to the wild 
beasts ^ ; and probably it was not in their power at 
that time to withstand their request. 

«= Seld. ibid. p. 1573, 1574, 1575- ^Seld.ibid.p. 1575, 1576. 

e Selden, Usher, and Basnage are of the opinion there were 

'" Thus Salmasius. Thus Spanheim and Valesius. 

' Strabo, 1. 14. p. 649. says, that some of the Trallians were 
always of the number of Asiarchs. Aristides, r/vo/xa* rpiroi; -^ re- 
raproi ry xiiforovlq:,, was chosen third or fourth Asiarch. Crat. 
Sacr. 4. p. 613, C. et 614, C. fin. Add to this the passage of 
Domninus, quoted afterwards from Malela. 

^ Strabo tells us they were the wealthiest and most powerful 
of the province who were Asiarchs, ubi supra. 

' Thus the people demanded of Philip the Asiarch at Smyrna, 
to let loose a lion upon Polycarp ; but he excused himself by say- 


It is afterwards said, that the townclerk appeased 
the people^^^. The word we render townclerk is 
ypa[X[xaT€v<:. If there be truth in what Domninus re- 
lates concerning the officers who presided over the 
games of Antioch, and certainly he could not but 
be well acquainted with things of so public a nature 
transacted in his own city, I think it is highly pro- 
bable that the -ypa/A/xarey^- here spoken of was a per- 
son of far greater authority than the clerk of tlie 
city of Ephesus. He tells us, that besides the Sy- 
riarch there was the Alytarch, ypaixfji^arevf, and the 
Amphitales ; that the Alytarch represented Jupiter, 
ypaixixaTevg represented Apollo, and that the Amphi- 
tales represented Mercury, and that they had suit- 
able honours paid them by all the people". If there 
were such officers as these at the public games in 
Ephesus, (and I think it is generally allowed that as 
the games exhibited, though in different cities, and 
different parts of the world, were the same, so there 
were the same kind of officers who presided over 
them,) who more proper to speak to the enraged 
multitude ? who so likely to have weight and in- 
fluence, and the force of an oracle in what he said, 
as he to whom they paid the honours due to Apollo? 
Apuleius also informs us, that in Egypt one of the 
officers who presided over their sacred rites was 
called ypafX[j.aTev$°. 

§. 4. The townclerk, or this religious officer, who 
represented Apollo, in the speech he makes to the 

ing, that that part of the games was already over. Martyr. Polyc. 
p. 200. Possibly this could not have been urged at the time 
which is now before us at Ephesus. 

■^ Ver. 35. " Joan. Malela, p. 374, &c. 

° In Milesia undecima cit. Biisnage, Annal. vol. i. p. 673. 
T 4 


people, says. What man is there that hnoweth not 
that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of 
the great goddess Diana and of the image which 
fell down from Jupiter p ? The word we translate 
worshipper is veooKopov. The word, I think, which 
comes nearest to it in our language is church- 
ivarden. The citizens of Ephesus were wardens of 
Diana's temple, to see not only to the necessary re- 
pairs of it, but that it was always kept clean and 
neat ; that at the proper seasons it was beautified 
and adorned, and that nothing necessary to the 
splendour of her worship was at any time wanting. 
This title of veaKopog is thought by some learned men 
to belong more peculiarly to the city of Ephesus at 
the time the public games were there exhibited*!. It 
is remarkable, that there are several coins of that 
city still extant which have this word at length 
upon them, 'E^eo-/wv veccKopav, and some that have the 
word Diana added thereto'". We learn also from 
coins, that several other cities were dignified with 
the same title. 

§. 5. The townclerk adds, and of the image which 
fell down from Jupiter. I liave not as yet met 
with any other author who asserts that the image 
of Diana in the temple of Ephesus fell down from 
Jupiter ; but nothing is more probable than it was 
given out and believed so to be. For this was a 
thing often pretended by the heathen nations, that 
the images they worshipped fell down from heaven ^ 

P Ver. 35. 

■J Seld. Marm. Arund. p. 1573, '574- Hammond in loc. 
"■ Seld. ibid. p. 1571, 1572. Vid. Wolfii Cur. et auctores ibi 

* Vid. Suid. in voc. A/oTrext.;. And compare it with those words 


This was said of the Palladium, or image of the 
goddess Pallas, in the city of Troy*. This was said 
of the Ancile, or Target at Rome, in the reign of 
Numa". The image of the goddess Cybele was said 
to fall down from Jupiter at Pessinus in Phrygia, 
and a solemn embassy was sent by the Romans to 
request this image, and bring it to Rome'^. We 
learn from Euripides, that the same thing was said 
of the image of Taurica Diana y. Nothing therefore 
more likely than that this was the prevailing opinion 
also concerning the image of Ephesian Diana ; to 
which the antiquity of the image might not a little 
contribute. All authors agree that it was esteemed 
very ancient^, and though made of wood, yet pe- 
rished not when the temple was burnt ^ That this 
was the prevailing opinion seems also confirmed by 
this circumstance, that usually wherever they built 

of Tully, Alterum (simulachrum) erat tale, iit homines, cum vide- 
rent, aut ipsam videre Cererem, aut effigiem Cereris, non hiimana 
manu factam, sed coelo delapsam, arbitrarentur. In Verrem, 1. 5. 
§. 187, fin. 

' Schol. in Virg. Mx\e\d. 2, v. 162. 

" 'El/ Se Ta<V ice'Kraii; n'lav ehai Xeyova-i hiOTie-rrj. Dionys. Hal. 

Antiq. Rom. 1. 2. c. 71. Pint, in Num. p. 148. 
^ Herodian. I. i. c. 35. p. 26. 

y Iphigen. in Tauris, v. 87. 88. 977. 978. Aioirere^ KafSuv a.ya.A[A.a,, 
et V. 1384. TO 8' ovpccvov frea-tji/.a, r-^q A*o? Ko'pvj? ayccXjAo,. 

^ Plin. Hist. Nat. 1. 16. §. 79. n. 7. Pliny wonders that Mu- 
cianus should say that the image was made of the wood of a vine, 
and pretend to name the artificer who made it, when he himself 
affirms, that it is not only more ancient than father Bacchus, but 
than Minerva also, that is, older than the planting of the vine, 
and the invention of arts. Pausan. Achaic. p. 207. 1. 11, 12, &c. 
Messen. p. 141. 1. 35. 

* Vitigineum et nunquam mutatum septies restituto templo. 
Plin. ibid. n. 5. ^ 


temples to Diana, the image erected was formed 
after the model of that at Ephesus'\ 

§. 6. The townclerk further says, If Demetrius, 
or the craftsmen with him, have a matter against 
any man, the law is open, and there are deputies^. 
The Greek words are, "AyopaToi ayovrai, kou avSviraroi 
etai. The courts of law are held, and there are the 
proconsuls. The first I take to be the courts where 
civil actions were tried, and matters of property de- 
termined ; the other, to refer to criminal causes. If 
Demetrius charged any person v/ith debt or da- 
mages, he might plead his cause in the former 
courts ; if with crimes, before the proconsul. But 
here it is very properly asked, why mention is made 
of proconsuls in the plural number, when it is very 
well known that there never was more than one 
proconsul to whom was committed the government 
of the province ? In the Syriac translation is read 
proconsul in the singular number ; and were there 
any number of copies to support that reading, the 
difficulty would wholly vanish. The learned Gro- 
tius supposes that the proconsul and his legatus are 
here understood ^ ; but I cannot be of his mind. The 
giving this title to both would be setting them upon 
the level; which would as much detract from the 

^ Strabo, 1. 3 . p. 1 6o, A. 1. 4. p. 1 79, B. 180, A. C. D. 1 84, A. 

'E<j)€criav ^e' Ap-rtfAtv noKeii Te oi/o/Aa^oi^crtv al Tcaaai koI avSpe? tS/^t 6fuv 

[/.uKiara ayovatv iv TtjWjj- ''"f'* ^^ aXXa ewi rovTot^ a-vverfXeav €? 

^o^aV j/.tyidoi; re rov vadv, to, icapa ^airiv avQpuTtOK; KS(,TuaK€va,a-iJi.ot,Ta, 
iirfp-fipfKorci;' ko.) 'Etpiffiuv t^; icoKeui; ij aKjx-fi, kcu Iv avT^ to etSKpavtq t^? 
QtaZ. Fausan. Messen. p. 141. 1, 34, &c. Vid. Pausan. Corinth, 
p. 46. 1. 2. et fere passim. Spanheiin affirms, tliat this appears 
yet more fully from coins, in Observ, in Callim. j). 289. cit. Wolfti 
Ciir. in Act. Apost. p. 1300. 

" Acts xix. 38. '' In loc. 


proconsul, as it added honour to the legatus. The 
Greeks were too great masters in the art of flattery 
to fall into such an absurdity. The learned and la- 
borious Samuel Basnage^ is of opinion that the pro- 
vince of Asia was at this time administered by Celer 
and jElius, who were procuratores Ccesaris, and 
had poisoned Silanus the proconsul by order of 
Agrippina, the emperor's mother f. Grotius indeed 
says that Suilius was now proconsul^. But as there 
is no certain proof of this, so it is much more pro- 
bable that he governed the province in the time of 
the emperor Claudius, with whom he was a fa- 
vourite''. Celer and iElius had in all probability 
the ornamenta consularia, that is, ensigns and or- 
naments of the consular dignity ; for such many of 
the procuratores had". And if the government of 

e Annal, vol. i. p. 674. n. 1 1. 

f Tacit. Ann. 1. 13. c. i. s In Act. xix. 40. 

'* Therefore Suilius says of Seneca, whom he esteemed his prin- 
cipal enemy, Infensum amicis Claudii, sub quo justissimum exsi- 
lium pertulisset. Tacit. Ann. 1. 13. c. 42. There is not the least 
likelihood that the court would suffer any person to go to Asia as 
proconsul in the room of Silanus, who was not entirely at their 
devotion, lest he should inquire into the murder, and punish the 
authors of it. For which reason I think Suilius could not be the 
person at this time. It is much more likely that the care of the 
province was committed to the two murderers, both upon the 
account of their own security, and as a reward of their villainy. 
And we find afterwards, in the fourth year of Nero, that Celer 
was charged with maladministration by the province of Asia; 
but, though not cleared, yet was protected from punishment by 
reason of this murder. And doubtless he well knew, that after 
the commission of such a fact, whatever injuries and oppressions 
he was guilty of, they must be all overlooked at the court of 
Rome. Tacit. Ann. 1. 13. c. 33. 

' Ornamenta consularia etiam procuratoribus ducenariis indulsit 


the province was committed to them, they were vice 
p?'oco7isidis^. It was an easy, natural, and unstrained 
piece of flattery therefore to call them proconsuls. 
This seems a most probable conjecture; nor do I 
know any thing material that can be urged against 
it. Other conjectures might be made ; but this looks 
so like the truth, that it is needless to offer them'. 
What renders this still the more probable is, that 
it had been the custom during the republic for the 
proconsul, when he left the province, to commit the 
government of it to the questor, as fully appears 

Claudius. Suet. CI. 24. i. That is, to all those whose annual pay 
or allowance amounted to a certain sum. Vid. Dio, 1. 53. p. 506, D. 

^ L. 2. C. de Poenis; I. 4. C. ad leg. Fab. de Plagiar. 1. i. C. 
de Pedan. Jud. 1. 3. C. ubi causa fiscal. 

' The public games, which drew a great concourse of people 
from all parts, might possibly invite some of the neighbouring 
proconsuls to be present, such as those of Achaia, Cilicia, and 
Cyprus. To this it may be answered, that, if they were present, 
they could not sit as judges ; for a proconsul had no power but 
in his own province. L. i . ff. de Offic. Proc. True ; but they 
might sit as assessors ; and if any of their own provincials were ac- 
cused, great defierence would be paid to their opinion, and possibly 
the criminal might be sent home to be punished by themselves. 
L. II. Custod. et Exhib. Reorum. Another objection is, 
that a president could not be absent from his province but one 
night. L. 15. ff. de Officio Prtesidis. And the reason of the case, 
it is true, reaches the proconsul. Vid. 1. 10. pr. ff. de Officio Proc, 
However, it is possible this law did not reach the proconsuls ; for 
they had greater privileges than presidents. The proconsul had 
six fiisces, the president but five ; the proconsul could deportare, 
the president not. \'id. Voet. in Pandect, de Off. Praes. §. i. fin. 
p. 86. Another conjecture may be, that a diocese or two of the 
province of Asia might belong to the proconsul of Cilicia, as it 
certainly did in the time of Tully. Vid. Epist. ad Attic. 1. 6. i, 


from Tully's Epistles '". It is likely, that no sooner 
did the emperor hear of the death of Silanus, than 
he sent to the two procurators to take upon them 
the government. Thus Tiberius, the governor of 
Crete being dead, committed that island to the 
questor and his assessor, for the remainder of his 
life ». 

§. 7. The townclerk further adds, But if ye in- 
quire any thing concerning other matters, it shall 
he determined in a lawful assembly °. I take this 
to be meant of the assembly of the diocese or dis- 
trict of EphesuSj of which Pliny gives an account. 
There were a great number of districts in Asia, each 
of which had an assembly. Some of these are re- 
ferred to by Tully in his Epistles to Atticus i' ; many 
more of them are mentioned by Pliny, among which 
this of Ephesus is one '^. The townclerk, or y^a^x- 
ixarevg, says, If Demetrius had any claim of property 
to make, there were civil courts in which he might 
sue. If he had crimes to object to any person, the 
proconsuls were there ; but if he had complaints of 
a political nature, if he had any thing to say that 
might redound to the honour of the goddess, the 
good of the temple, and the public utility, there 
was the usual legal assembly of the district belong- 
ing to Ephesus, in which it ought to be proposed. 

§. 8. We are told in the History of the Acts, that 
Paul and Barnabas being at Lystra, and having 

"1 Epist. Fam. 1. 2. ep. 15. ad Attic. 1. 6. ep. 3, 4, 5. prop. fin. 
et 6. 

" Tore Se ri Kp-^T^, toC a.fy^wzoc, avivji aiioOavovTOi;, tZ re ray.loi, Kctl t^ 
Ttxpi^pi} avTov rov XoiTiov y^^pofov Ttpoa-ttdyB-fi. Dio, 1. 57. p. 61 1, C. 

° Ver. 39. f L. 5. ep. 20. et ult. 'i H. N. 1. 5. §. 25. 

29, 30, 32,33. Vid. Cellar. Geog. Ant. v. 2. p. 127. 


healed a man lame from his mother's womb, the 
people said, The gods are come doivn to us hi the 
likeness of men : and called Bariiahas, Jupiter ; 
and Paul, Mercur]/, because he was the chief 
speaher^. It was a common opinion among the 
heathen, that their gods sometimes came down from 
heaven, appeared in human shape, and conversed 
with men, as most evidently appears from their 
poets and other writers. This was believed of Ju- 
piter and Mercury in particular ^ Hence the name 
of Zeyf Kara^atrii. Mercury, as being Jupiter's ser- 
vant, ^f-y/o-Tco Z^v/ '^aifjiovccv Xarpig ^, made frequent de- 
scents on his messages, and therefore was thought 
to be seen much oftener than Jupiter. But when 
Jupiter condescended to visit the earth. Mercury 
was supposed usually to be his attendant". That 
Mercury was esteemed the interpreter of the gods, 
and as their mouth to men, and therefore was looked 
upon and addressed to as the god of eloquence, is 
confirmed to us by a great variety of authors ^. For 

^ Acts xiv. 8 — 12. ^ Ovid. Metam. Baucis et Philemon. 

t Enrip. Ion. v. 4. Vid. Pans. Arcad. p. 264. 1. 8. Ovid. Fast. 
1. 2. V. 608.611. Sil. Ital. 1. 3. Magni Jovis et deorum nuncium, 
Hor. Carm. 1. i. Od. 10. Loc. Philopat. p. 995, C. et Deor. Dial, 
p. 179, fin. 

" Vid. Plant. Amph. Ovid. Fast. 1. 5. v. 495, &c. 

■* Tov epuYji/ia, Koi itptxp'/jrviv tkv deiccv, a(p' ol koI 'Ep//C^(j i'vo/Aaaraj . 
Phil. leg. ad Caiiini, p. 1005, E. ToS 8e Kiyov tov TrayTt-v izotrjriKOv Tf 
Ko.) fpy.fivevTiKoZ 6 'Ec^a^^ •irapaaTaTiKO(;. Porph. in Eiiseb. Praep. 1. 3. 
c. II. p. 114. Hor. Carm. 1. I. Od. 10. v. i,8e;c. Ovid. Fast. 1. 5. 
V. 668. Tlv 'Ep/*^v T6I/ T^i; (TO(piai ravTrj^ ^ye/A&Va koI itpoa-rdri^v. 

Aristid. Platon. i. p. 178, fin. Vid. Orat. in Min. p. 26, A. 0es? 
t5v y.iyui> ■fjjtf/.uv. Jambl. de Myst. zEgypt. pr. Lucian. Apol. pro 
Mer. cond. p. 504, A. Pseudolog. p. 600, fin. Dial. Deor. p. 180, 

]J. Gall. 234» ^- 'Epjixoi; hoLKKTruTOi) nai XoytuTuTOV Oeuv dicdvTuv. 


this reason is it said, They took Paul for Mercurtj, 
hecause he teas the chief speaker. 

^. 9. It follows, Then the priest of Jupiter, which 
was before their city y. That it was their custom to 
build temples to their deities in the suburbs % and 
to place the images of their tutelar deities before 
the city at the gates, is fully evident from several 
of their poets "" and other writers. Jupiter, which 
was before their city, may be understood therefore 
of the image of Jupiter iroXievg ^, which was placed 
at the gate of the city, or, it may be, in some temple 
erected in the suburbs before the gate. The priest 
of this Jupiter brought oxen and garlands to the 
gates of the house where the apostles were, in order 
to have done sacrifice ^. That it was usual to sacri- 
fice oxen to Jupiter is clear from Homer *^, Strabo % 
Livy ^, and others ^. That they made use of gar- 

y Ver. 13. 

^ That of Jupiter in particular, Liv. 1, 34. c. 53, prop. fin. Vid, 
Alex, ab Alex. 1. 2. c. 4. 

^ "A>a<j-cr"'07/ca tcpo ivoKeui;. ^Eschyl. septem contra Theb. v. 170. 
Ttvua-Ke yap oti e^uypd<povv lavz-^v tcpo twv icvXaiv t^^ Tro'Xe&x;, tjv Koi 6 
AvKO(ppuv TTvKaiTi^a Xeyei 8(a to avuBiv 'la-'vaaQai ravT/jV tZv t^s' T^oXeu^ 

TcvXZv. Schol. Ibid. Vid. Lycop. v. 356. Paus. Bceot. p. 291. 1. 7. 
et Syb. not. 

^ Arist. de Mundo. Pausan. Attic, p. 27. 1. 30. "^ Ver. 13. 

•^ Iliad. 1. 2. V. 402. 

Avrap I3<jvv Upevaev ccva^ ocydpZv 'Ayay-ejAvav 
Yliova., iKVTaer'/jpov, v'Kepi/.evii Kpovluvi. 
^ L. 10. p. 483, fin. Ilov [A€v ovv (Bovv 6vei tS Au. 
^ L. 41. c. 14. p. 1235, pr. Immolantibus Jovi singulis bubus. 
e 'AQ'/ji/a.ioiv ^aa-tXevovTQt; 'Eptx^icct; lire icpurov ^duv iKTiivev /Sow/wVo; 
tVi Tov (3coi/.ov Tov iroXteaii; Aloi;. Pausan. Attic, p. 27. 1. 30. Vid. p. 22. 
1. 22. Euseb. in Chron. p. 75. et 109. says that Cecrops first sa- 
crificed an ox to Jupiter; but he seems to be herein mistaken : 
for Pausanias avers, that although Cecrops first called Jupiter su- 


lands at the time they sacrificed, both to adorn the 
victim which was to be offered, and the priest him- 
self, appears from Pliny \ and many other authors'. 

J. 10. It is afterwards said that the people of 
Lystra, being persuaded by the Jews which came 
from Antioch and Iconium, stoned Paul, and drew 
him out of their citij^. That stoning was a punish- 
ment in use among the Greeks, we learn from jElian^ 
and others '". Some possibly may admire at the sud- 
den change here related, that the people should be 
sa wrapped up in admiration of St. Paul as to be 
ready to do sacrifice to him one while, and soon 
after be prevailed with to stone him. There is an 
account in the latter end of this History of the Acts, 
of a change rather more sudden than this, but in 
the direct contrary way. The people of Melita, 
Vhile they saw a viper hanging upon Paul's hand, 
looked upon him as a murderer whom vengeance 
suffered not to live ; but when he had shook it off, 

preme, he sacrificed nothing to him that had hfe. Arcad. p. 237. 
1. 15. Meursiiis has well explained the occasion of this mistake. 
De Reg. et Archont. 1. i. c. 9. Ovid, Fast. 1. 5. v. 514. 

Audito palluit ille Jove. 

Ut rediit animus, cultorem pauperis agri 
Immolat, et magno torret in igne bovem. 
Dion. Hal. Antiq. Rom. 1. i . §. 39, fin. KaJ Bvu tS 6iS (Ait Elpc 

'' Nat. Hist. 1. 16. c. 4. 

' Dionys. Hal. 1. I. §. 55> ^^- O* ^* «/*</>« tlv Alvtlav, itapatrKtva- 
a-Otla-'/ji Bvaiai;, e^ovTe? lov^ a rtcfxivovi; %ifi t6v /Swjtxov 'e(TTr,a-av. Juv. Sat. 
13. V. 63. Prudentius, v. 102 1. Servius ad-iEneid. 2. v. 133. Vid. 
Walchii Not. ad Lact. p. 160. Potter's Greek Antiq. 1. i. p. 199. 

^ Ver. 19. ' Var. Hist. I.5. c. 19. p. 434. 

"' Vid. Soph. aid. Col. v. 448. et Ajac. Flagel. v. 743. Eurip. 
Orest. V. 50. 59. 442. 535. 563. 613. 624. 861. et 944. Potter's 
Greek Antiq. vol. i. p. 128, i)r. 


and they saw no harm followed, they took him for 
a god ^ Persons must know very little of human 
nature, and have had small experience of mankind, 
that cannot give credit to such sudden changes as 
these in the populace. Menedemus the philosopher 
was had in such contempt by his fellow-citizens, 
that he was called dog, trifier.fool. Afterwards he 
was so highly admired by them, that they put the 
government of their city into his hands °. Demo- 
critus was despised by his countrymen for having 
wasted his patrimony, and was indicted by them for 
a spendthrift : but having foretold some events which 
came to pass, he was judged worthy of divine ho- 
nours 1'. Aristophanes the comedian says of the 
people of Athens, esteemed the politest of all the 
Greeks, He who is nobody with them to-day, to- 
morrow shall be esteemed v-nepfi.eyag^ an exceeding 
great man ^. The reverse of this was equally true 
of them. For, it may be, no people in the world 
were more fickle, inconstant, and mutable ; and I 
much question whether any place affords so many 
examples of persons who had done the greatest ser- 
vice to their country, and were in the highest ho- 
nour, soon after stripped of all, banished, or other- 
wise punished ^. 

" Acts xxviii. 4. 6. " Diog. 1. 2. n. 140. 

P Diog. Laert. 1. 9. n. 39. compared with Athenieiis, quoted 
by Menagius, in his notes upon the place. 

^ "O )ivv fjih ovleU, avpiw S' inrepj/ieya^. Equit. act I. SC. 2. p. 296. 
'EvToq Uku ■/jfji.epuv &io<; avToTi; ^o^eti;, ok vvv Kol tt/Ajjato?. Mar. An- 
ton, de reb. suis, 1. 4. §. 16. Hoc in imperita multitudine est 
vitiosissimum, varietas et inconstantia, et crebra tanquam tein- 
pestatum, sic senteiiliarum cominulatio. Cic. pro domo sua. lidem 
eadem possunt horaui durare probantes? Hor. 1. i. ep. i. v. 82, 

' Thucydides turn scripsisse dicitur, cum a republica re- 



J. 11. When St. Paul entered Athens, it raised 
his indignation not a little to see the city wholly 
given to idolatry ^ The word in the Greek is Kartl- 
taXov,fiin of idols ^. In this respect, I suppose, no 
city in the world ever equalled it. The words which 
Lucian puts into the mouth of Prometheus were 
literally true here : " Every where were to be seen 
** altars, and sacrifices, and temples, and feasts ; all 
*' the streets, and all assemblies, were full of Ju- 
" piter V' and other deities, as any one may be con- 
vinced, who will be at the pains to read the descrip- 
tion of Athens left us by Pausanias, or the Athenae 
Atticae of the learned Meursius. 

It is a thing so well known, that it is almost 
needless to observe to you, that Athens abounded 
with schools, that many persons came thither from 
all parts to finish their education, and that it was a 
place of great resort for men of fortune, leisure, and 
learning^. It is easy to conceive that in such a 
place there should be a general thirst after know- 
ledge, and a continual inquiry made, whether there 

motus, atque id quod optimo cuique Athenis accidcre solitum est, 
in exsilium pulsus esset. Cic. de Orat. 1. 2. n. 13. Vid. Val. Max. 
de Ingrat. Nothing is more true than the observation of Livy. 
1. 24. §. 25. Haec natura multitudinis est, aut servit humiliter, 
aut superbe dominatur. They either cringe, fawn, and are in the 
lowest manner servile, or else tyrannize and domineer in the 
haughtiest way possible, and oftentimes on a sudden pass from 
the one of these to the other. 

'^ Acts xvii. 16. 

^ After the same way of speaking, Strabo, describing the coun- 
try about Marseilles, calls it{Kov, crowded with vineyards. 
L. 3. p. 179, fin. 

" Prometh. p. 113, fin. 

" Vid. Meursii Fortiin. Attica, cap. 8. 


was any thing new either in philosophy or history, 
any new opinion divulged, or any new thing that 
had happened in the world. We know, from our 
own experience, that in all public places, where 
there is a concourse of people of condition, there is 
usually discovered not a little curiosity of this kind. 
It can be matter of no admiration therefore, when 
it is said in the Acts of the Apostles, That all the 
Athenians, and strangers tvhich were there, spent 
their time in nothing else but either to tell or hear 
some new thingy. This character was due to them 
of a long standing. Many years before, when they 
had an affair of the most urgent nature upon their 
hands, when Philip king of Macedon was making 
large steps towards the ruin of their state, they in- 
dulged this humour to a very great excess. De- 
mosthenes, in one of his Orations, in order to en- 
courage them to act vigorously against the invader, 
tells them, " They had much more reason to expect 
" the favour of the gods than he had, because they 
" were more pious and just. But, you will say, 
" How then came he to have greater success in the 
" former war than we had? The answer is, Because 
" Philip acts the part of a soldier, endures fatigue, 
'* faces danger without any regard to the seasons of 
" the year, and neglecting no opportunity ; whilst 
" we Athenians sit at home, doing nothing, always 
" delaying, and making decrees ^, and asking in the 
" forum if there be any thing new ^." In other his 
Orations also, he plainly hints to them that they 

>' Acts xvii. 21. 

' The reader may see what, he ineatis by this in his Oration de 
Rej)u!jl. Ord. p. 71, tin. et 72. 
' .Ad Phil. Epistolam, p. 66, E. 

u 2 


were at least as solicitous, as active, as diligent to 
learn the news, as they were in this most important 
business of opposing Philip, if not more so''. 

Certain learned men, who had heard St. Paul dis- 
coursing in the forum ^, more particularly some of 
the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers, curious to 
know what new opinions he taught, conducted him 
to Mars' Hill, in the Greek, to Areopagus, a place 
of the same note at Athens as Westminster-hall or 
the house of lords is with us. The speech St. Paul 
makes to them in this place begins thus ; Ye men of 
Athens, I jjerceive that in all things ye are too 
supei'stifious^ . That person must be a great stranger 

^ Philip. 4, pr. et Philip, i. p. i6, A. 

^ Paul disputed in the market daily with them that met him. 
Acts xvii. 17. iv zji ayopa,. The forum or market among the 
Greeks served not only the purpose of buying and selling all 
sorts of merchandise, but of holding their public assemblies 5 and 
therefore were usually places of a very large extent, in which also 
persons of leisure met for the sake of conversation and news. 
There were many of these in the city of Athens, but the most 
noted, and that which probably was called 'q ayopa,, the market, 
without adding any other name to it, was Ceramicus. And this, it 
is probable, is to be here understood. St. Paul discoursed with 
philosophers and others who met here for conversation. In this 
place was not only aroa /Satr/Xeio?, but a-rooc itoiKlKvj ; also the school 
of the Stoic philosophers. Vid. Pausan. Attic. Compare p. 3. 1. 7, 
&c. p. 14. 1. 10. et p. 15. 9. et Achaic. p. 228. 1. 27, &c. et Me- 
nag. Not, in Diogen. Laert. 1. 7. §. 5. et Wolf. Cur. in loc. 

** Acts xvii. 22. It is thought by some learned men that these 
words are not rightly translated, and that the apostle designed 
them as a commendation of the Athenians ; as much as to say, 
I perceive that in all things ye are very pious or devout. It un- 
doubtedly became the apostle, in the beginning of his speech, to 
make use of such a word as would give the least offence, other- 
wise he had destroyed his own design, and lost their attention ; 
biit that he had any thought herein to commend or flatter them. 


to their history, who does not immediately see the 
truth and justice of this character. Philostratus 
says, that the first discourse Apollonius made at 
Athens was upon the subject of sacrifices, because 
he saw that the Athenians were (fnXoGurai, addicted 
to sacrificing ^. Xenophon says of them, that they 
observed twice as many festivals as any other peo- 
ple ^ and gives it as one reason why public business 
was retarded, and persons waited sometimes a whole 
year for an answer either from the senate or the 
people, " that they were obliged to keep such a 
" number of feasts as did no other city of the 
" Greeks e." Pausanias tells us that they worshipped 
the gods more than others, or exceeded all others in 
their piety towards the gods '\ And Sophocles, that 
they went beyond all the world in the honours they 
paid the gods '. Dionysius Halicarnassensis says, 
that if any praise belonged to the city of the Athe- 
nians, this chiefly did so, that in all things, and at 
all times, they followed the gods, and performed no- 
is contrary both to the whole drift of the history, and to his own 
notions as a Christian. What was it raised his indignation, but 
his seeing the city wholly given to idolatry? What was it engaged 
him in disputes daily in the market, but the great number of their 
o-e^da-fAara, or objects of devotion, that is, their excessive supersti- 
tion ? Although therefore the word Stio-iSaj/xoi-eo-Tepoy? may be some- 
limes used in a good sense, yet doubtless the apostle here meant 
it in the bad sense. There is no one who has looked into De- 
mosthenes, or almost any Greek writer, but must see the pro- 
priety of "AvSpe? 'AByjvaToi, Ye men of Athens, however distant this 
may seem from our modern way of address. 

<-' De Vit. ApoU. 1. 4. c. 6. ^ De Repub. Athen. p. 700, A. 

B Ibid. p. 699, B. '' Attic, p. 15. 1. 12. et p. 22. 1. 13. 

' "06' o\jV€K', ti ■TLi;'Yfi 6ic,li; eV/o-Tarai 

CEd. Col. V. 1060. Vid. et v. 1 186. et 264. 
u 3 


thing without their direction ^. And Josephus lays 
it down as a thing universally acknowledged, " All 
" nnen say that the Athenians are the most pious of 
" all the Greeks '." 

^. 12. That which gave occasion to St. Paul to 
remark the greatness of their superstition, and to 
begin his speech from thence, was not only his hav- 
ing seen the city crowded with temples, altars, and 
idols '", but his having also observed an altar erected 
to the imhiowu God'^. To such a height of super- 
stition were they arrived, that they not only, l)y 
public authority, received the gods of foreign na- 
tions, but raised altars also to gods unknown. Strabo 
says, " That the Athenians, as they were wont to 
" take other things from foreigners," (he had just 
before instanced in their instruments of music,) " so 
" the gods also. For they have received from stran- 
" gers many sacred rites, even to such a degree as 
" to be made the subject of comedy '*." St. Jerom 
informs us, that there was an altar at Athens dedi- 
cated to the gods of Asia, and Europe, and Africa, 
to the unknown and foreign gods v. This was re- 
ceiving at once all the gods of the then known 
world, both those whose names they had learnt, and 
those which they had not so much as heard of. 
Pausanias tells us that there was an altar of the 

'^ Et yap T( aXKo ryj; 'A^vji/a/wv iroAeii^, xa) toSt' iv •npuroii eVrtv ey- 
Kwj/ACiV, TO -nifi TrafTo? izpayiAotroi, Koi iv vavri KaipS to7; OeoTi; cizea-Qai, 
Ka\ lA-qliv avev jJi-ocvTiK-q^ koI %pi5<r/x5y irtiTfXeTv. De Thlicvd. HlSt. .Flld. 
^. 40. med. 

' Contr. Apion. 1. 2. §. 11. p. 1373. 

'" These are the a(fid<Ty.cira., mentioned v. 23. 

" Ibid. " L. 10. p, 471, C. 

f Comment, ad Tit. i. 


unknown gods at Olympia'i; that there was also an 
altar or altars of the gods named unhyiown at Pha- 
lerus, the nearest port to Athens •■. And Apollonius 
affirms, that at Athens were built altars of unknown 
gods ^. These things render it exceeding probable 
that there might be one or more altars in that great 
city with this inscription, To the unhnoivn God. 
But that which puts it beyond all doubt are the 
words of Lucian in his Philopatris, who introduces 
one swearing by the unknown God at Athens ^ and 
another determining, " That he will with hands 
" lifted up to heaven worship the unknown God at 
« Athens "." 

It has been thought by learned men, and, I think, 
not without some degree of probability, that by the 
unJmown God, to whom this altar was dedicated, 
the Athenians meant the God of the Jews ''. From 
what has been already said, it appears plainly to 
have been a prevailing humour with them to receive 
the gods of all foreign countries, and why not the 
God of the Jews among the rest ? If the relation 
given us by Josephus of the vision of Alexander the 
Great, and his adoring the name of God engraven 
upon the golden plate in the fore-front of the mitre, 
when Jaddus the high priest met him at his entry 

«i Eliac. I. p. 162. 1. 6. 

'' B&>jMO( 8e Oiuv Te lv(iy.a^o^ivuv ayvucrrocv, kou Yipuuv, kou itaihuv tuv 
®-qaiu}^ KOU <JfaX-^poZ. Attic. p. I. 1. 34. 

^ 'Adijv^atv, oil Koi duyvuxntnv ta.i\f.muv /3a'/xo) J'SpvTa*. Philost. de Vit. 

Apol. 1. 6. c. 2, fin. 

* N^ Tov a-yvtiaTW iv'A6-^vai(;. Philopat. p. 997, A. 

" Hy.i7i; 8e tov tV 'Ad-^fun; a.yvu(nov e<p€vpwTei;, koI 'Kpo<7K'j>-^a-ai'rii 
Xe7pa(; €»< ovpaylv iKreivavrei; rovro) iixapiaTfiaoiA-ev. Ibid. prop. fit). 

^ Vid. Wolfiii Ciirj^in loc. Basnage, Ann. vol. i. p. 636. 

u 4 


into Jerusalem y, be true, (and I can see no just rea- 
son why the truth of it should be questioned,) the 
fame of this alone would be a sufficient inducement 
to the Athenians to erect an altar to the God of the 
Jews. It is certain, that after this expedition of 
Alexander many of the Jews were taken into his 
army ^, the Jews and Greeks became better ac- 
quainted, the Jews soon spread themselves through 
Greece, there was a communication opened, and a 
frequent intercourse between Greece and Judaea, 
and leagues of friendship were entered into^, and 
particularly between the Athenians and Hyrcanus 
the high priest of the Jewish nation, to whom, for 
the many kindnesses he had shewn them, they 
erected a brazen statue in one of their temples at 
Athens '\ 

The reason why they should give the title of un- 
hnown to the God of the Jews is sufficiently easy 
and obvious. The Jews themselves religiously ab- 
stained from uttering the name of God '^, so that no 
foreigner could ever learn any name peculiar to him. 
Dio says, that the Jews esteemed him appriTov, not to 
he expressed'^. For which reason the emperor 
Caius replied to Philo, and the Jews that were with 
him, " Ye are the god-haters, who esteem not me a 
" god, though acknowledged to be so by all others, 
*' aXXa rov aKaTovofxaarov v^h, hut him that is U?l- 

y Antiq. 1. II. c. 8. §. 5. 
^ Ibid. fin. 

* Antiq. 1. 12. c. 4. §. 10. et 1. 13. c, 5. §. 8. Vid. Gronov. not. 
ad Jos. p. 44. 

^ Antiq. 1. 14. c. 8. §. ult. 

' Vid. Philon. Vit. Mosis, 1. 3. p. 683, D. E. 684, A. li. 

'^ L. 36. p. 37, f- 


** named hy you ^." Therefore Lucan ^ and Tre- 
bellius PoUio ? call him incertus Deus : and doubt- 
less the Jews always spoke of him as incomprehen- 
sible and unutterable. No wonder therefore if the 
Athenians should inscribe upon the altar intended 
him. To the unknown God. And most certainly 
the apostle had hereby given him the fairest oppor- 
tunity imaginable to instruct the Athenians in the 
knowledge of the only true God; and with great 
reason told them, that the God whom they igno- 
rantly worshipped, declared he unto them ^. 

It is said, that among St. Paul's converts at this 
place was Dionysius the Areopagite '. The Areo- 
pagites were not only the highest court of judicature 
in Athens, but also the supreme council in affairs of 
state ^: men of the best families and fortunes, and 

^ Leg. ad Caium, p. T041, A. B. It is in our printed copies, 
OiOfjiKTfTi;, ye that are hated hy the gods, but I think it ought to be 
read deofAiaeit;. 

f et dedita sacris 

Incerti Judsea Dei, Lib. 2. 

s Claud, p. 351. ^ Acts xvii. 23. ' Ch. xvii. v. 34. 

^ So Meursius expressly calls it, Supremus oninino senatus 
erat ) and quotes both Plutarch and Heliodorus to authorize the 
expression. Vid. Meurs. Areop. cap. i. p. 5, 6. Our very learned 
archbishop observes, that the council of the Areopagites, though 
inferior to the senate of the Five Hundred in order and power, 
yet was superior to it in dignity and esteem, and therefore was 
called ij avu ^ov'A-q. Gr. Antiq. b. i. c. 18. p. 90. The senate of 
the Five Hundred were chosen annually ; the Areopagites sat for 
life, or till some very gross misbehaviour. To shew what part 
they held in the Athenian government, I need only transcribe the 
words of TuUy : Ut, si quis dicat, Atheniensium rempublicam 
conciiio regi, desit illud, Areopagi : Sic, cum dicimus, providentia 
munduni administrari, deesse arbitrator, deorum. De Nat. Deor. 


who had the fairest reputations, were usually taken 
into this court. And it may be, no court in the 
world was ever so illustrious and so highly esteemed 
as this. There are few or none of the ancient au- 
thors but make laudable mention hereof. 

St. Paul, it is said, departed from the island of 
Melita, in a ship of Alexandria, whose sign tvas 
Castor and Pollux ^ It was the custom with the 
ancient Greeks and Romans to place the image or 
picture of the deity, to whose care and protection 
they committed the ship, at the stern, and to place 
the sign, by the name of which the ship was called, 
at the head "\ It is a dispute among learned men, 
whether the tutelar deity were not also sometimes 
the sign, and for that reason placed both at head 
and stern ". There are undeniable instances in an- 
cient authors, wherein some of the heathen deities 
are placed at the head ". And it is not very likely 
that such ships should have other deities at the 
stern, to whose tutelage they were committed. Of 
this sort is the ship which carried Paul to Italy. 
It had Castor and Pollux, two heathen deities, at 

1. 2. §. 74. And it is not seldom that he calls the senate of Rome 
by the name of this court : Romanse autem se res sic habent. 
Senatus, "Apeio? wjtyo?, nihil constantius, nihil severius, nihil fortius. 
Ad Att. 1. I. ep. 14. 

' Acts xxviii. 1 1. 

"^ Vid. Hammond, in loc. Virg. .Eneid. 1. 10. v. 157, 166, ct 
171. Ovid, de Trist. Eleg. 9. v. i, 2. Pers. Sat. 6. v. 30. 

" Selden denies it. Vid. de Diis Syris, Syntag. 2. c. 16. p. 400. 
And Grotius seems to be of the same opinion, in loc. Salmasius 
in Solin. p. 403. defends the contrary, as also many other authors. 

" Vid. Herod. 1, 3. c. 37. ^'Eschyl. Sept. contra Thebas, v, 214. 
et Not. Stanleii. 


the head p ; and doubtless, if any ^, had the same 
also at the stern, as the tutelar gods, protectors, and 
patrons of the ship, these being esteemed deities pe- 
culiarly favourable to mariners "". 

f In the same manner is a ship, which used to carry corn from 
Egypt to Italy, described by Lucian as having the goddess Isis, 
who gave name to the ship, at tlie head. Vid. Navig. p. 665, C. 
et 669, A. B. 

'I It is not certain that all such ships as had their tutelar dei- 
ties at the head had them also at stern. Vid. Not. Stanl. ante 

"^ Vid. Hor. Carm. 1. i. Od. 3. v. i. et Od. 12. v. 27, &c. Ovid, 
de Trist. Eleg. 9. v. 45. Lucian. Apol. et Merc. p. 185, D. E. 
Max. Tyr. Iterum. Quis sit Deus Socr. fin. p. 173. et Not. Da- 


Roman customs confirmed. 

^. 1. MOST of the Roman customs referred to 
are so well known that I need say little to confirm 
them. That the ordinary residence of the Roman 
procurator in Judaea was at Caesarea, and that the 
Romans had a military force both at Caesarea and 
Jerusalem, are fully evident from Josephus ^. 

That the Roman army consisted of legions, and 
that a legion was made up of a certain number of 
cohorts, as our army is divided into regiments, and 
every regiment into companies, and that a cohort 
was made up of six orders or centuries ^, over each 
of which orders was placed a centurion, is known 
almost to ev^ery one that has but heard of the Ro- 
mans. But besides the cohorts, which were formed 
into legions, there were other cohorts separate and 
distinct from any legion, something like our inde- 
pendent companies, as is abundantly evident from 
Caesar, Strabo, Tacitus, Suetonius, and Josephus. 
Such were cohorfes urhance^ coliortes pnutoricB : 
such, I take it, were cohorfes colonicce, mentioned 
by Caesar '^j and the cohorts placed by the emperor 
Claudius at Puteoli and Ostia for the prevention of 
fire '^ Such confessedly were the auxiliary cohorts, 

' Compare Acts xxi. 32. xxiii. 23, 24. xxiv. 7. and Antiq. I. 18. 
C.3. §. I. C.4. §. I. 

*> Caeteri (centuriones) juxta sirnni quisque centuriam. Tac. 
Hist. 1. 2. c. 89. 

'^ De Bell. Civ. I. 2. c. 19. n. 4. 

^' Suet. Claud, c. 25. n. 7. 


as cohors Usipiorum^, cohortes Batavorum\ and 
others mentioned by Tacitus ^. 

The commanding officer of these cohorts was 
called tribunus, or prcefectus cohortis ; by the former 
name, if the cohort was composed of Roman citi- 
zens ; by the latter, if of auxiliaries ^. Both these 
words are rendered into the Greek by the word x^- 
xiapKog, captain of a thousand, and indeed the co- 
horts of this sort frequently consisted of a thousand 
men ', whereas the legionary cohorts never exceeded 
six hundred, and seldom were so many '^. I remem- 

^ Agric. c. 28. f Hist. 1. r. c. 59. 

g Hist. 1. 2. c. 89. et 1. 4. c 70. 

'' Vid. Polyb. 1. 6. p. 482, A. Tac. Hist. 1. i. §. 20. p. 50. 1. ult. 
1. 4. c. 31, 32. 1. 3. c. 68. et c. 35. Ann. 1. 6. c. 9, prop. fin. et 
1. 12. c. 17. 1. ult. Ceesar de B. C. 1. 2. c. 20. Liv. 1. 25. c. 14. et 
1. 33. c. 38. et 1. 34. c. 47. Suet. Cai. c. 56. n 4. et Suet. Juv. 4. 

i Dio, 1. 55. p. 565, A. Tac. Hist. 1. 2. c. 93, prop. fin. Joseph. 
de Bell. Jud. 1. 3. c. 4. §. 2. Appian has instances of cohorts of 
this sort, which had yet more men. Vid. Savil's View of certain 
military Matters, p. 219. 

'"' Vegetius indeed, who lived more than three hundred years 
after the time we are speaking of, says, that the first cohort of 
every legion consisted of a thousand men, and those chosen ones. 
Vid. de Re Militari, 1. 2. c. 6, pr. So probably it was when he 
wrote ; but we have not the least hint of this in any more an- 
cient author, which we must certainly have met with, had it been 
the practice in their time. That the first cohort was more de- 
pended on than any other, is evident from those words of Csesar, 
Duabusque missis subsidio cohortibus, atqne his primis legionum 
duarum. De Bell. Gal. 1. 5. c. 15. But this proceeded not from 
the greatness of their number, but from the choice of the men, 
and that their officers were the bravest, the oldest, and the most 
experienced of the whole legion. For which reason the cen- 
turions of this cohort were members of the council of war. Vid. 
Polyb. 1.6. p. 470,B. Caes. de Bell. Gal. 1. 5. c. 28. Lips, de 
Rom. Mil. 1. 2. Dial. 4. Savil's View, p. 209, pr. 


ber not to have read in any author of the tribune of 
a legionary cohort ^ and without doubt such an ex- 
pression must have been very improper. There were 
six tribunes to a legion "% and in each legion ten 
cohorts". If I mistake not, the tribunes had au- 
thority equally over the whole legion, so far as their 
power reached °. But had the command been di- 
vided, there would have been a cohort and two- 
thirds of a cohort under each tribune. It would 
have been a great diminution therefore to have 
spoken of them as having authority over one cohort 

We read, in the History of the Acts, of Cornelius 
a centurion at Caesarea, of the band called the Ita- 
lian hand"^. The Greek word is aneTpa, which sig- 
nifies a cohort. He was one of the centurions of the 

' They are always termed Tribuni Militiim, or, if the autlior had 
a mind to be more particular, Tribuni militum de legione adse, 
Liv. 1. 33. c. 38. Trib. mil. tertise legioiiis, 1. 41. c. 3. 4t8e le- 
gionis, 1. 34. c. 46. Tribuni legionis quintas, Hirt. de Bell. Afr. 
c. 28. Tribunus militum loae legionis, c. 54. L. Atius tribuiius 
primus adae legionis, Liv. \. 41. c. 3. Vid. et 1. 25. c. 14. 1. 41. 
c. I. et 2. 1. 45. c. 32. Suet. Otho, c. 10. n. 2. But the com- 
manders of six independent cohorts, placed in garrison by \'arro 
at Cadiz, Caesar calls Tribuni cohortium. De Bell. Civ. 1. 2. c. 20. 
n. 2. 

'" Polyb. 1. 6. p. 473, B. et 478, B. In Vegetius's time there 
were as many tribunes as cohorts in a legion. Vid. 1. 2. c. 14. 
But there is not the least footstep of any such thing in the au- 
thors who wrote about the time we are speaking of. 

" Jul. Frontin. de Stratagem. 1. i. c. 6, pr. Cass, de Bell. Gal. 
1. 6. c. 7. 

" Therefore Horace says. Quod mihi pareret legio Romana 
tribuno. Sat. 1. i . 6. v. 48. They usually governed by turns, two 
at a time. Polyb. 1. 6. p. 479, A. et 482, A. 

P Acts X. 1 . 


Italian cohort. There having been a legion of this 
name, called legio Itallca, most learned men have 
been hereby induced to understand it as importing 
that he was a centurion of one of the cohorts be- 
longing, to the Italian legion 'i. But there is not the 
least ground for this interpretation. Had St. Luke 
meant this, no doubt he would have said that he 
was a centurion of the Italian legion, or of one of 
the cohorts in that legion, which was the easy, na- 
tural, and usual way of speaking ''. But this he 

'^i Vid. Grot, in loc. Saiimel Basnage acknowledges that this 
legion had not yet a being, but tliinks that St. Luke, by a pro- 
lepsis, calls the legion he then served in, the Italic legion, be- 
cause at the time he wrote his history, Cornelius was a centurion 
in the legion so named. Vid. Ann. p. 513. n. 10. 

' L. Fabius centurio legionis Svx, Cces. de Bell. Gal. 1. 7. c. 47. 
M. Petreius ejusdem legionis centurio, c. 50. T. Salienus centurio 
legionis 535, Hirt. de Bell. Afr. c. 28. Centurio legionis 1436, c. 45. 
Duodecimae legionis — quartae cohortis omnibus centurionibus oc- 
cisis, C<ES. de Bell. Gal. 1. 2. c. 35. Tertias cohortis centuriones, 
(legionis sub Q. Cicerone in Nerviis,) 1. 5. c. 43, prop. fin. Omni- 
bus primee cohortis (legionis nonae) centurionibus interfectis, de 
Bell. Civ. 1. 3. c. 64, fin. Centuriones qui jam primis ordinibus 
appropinquarent, T. Pulsio et-L. Varenus, de Bell. Gal. 1. 5. c. 44, 
pr. The first orders or centuries always made up the first cohort. 
Ab octavis ordinibus ad primlpilum se transducere pronuntiavit. 
De Bell. Civ. 1. 3. c. 53. By comparing this with Suet. Jul. c. 68. 
4, 5, 6. it appears that the valiant Scgeva, who had received a 
hundred and twenty or two hundred and thirty of the enemy's 
darts on his shield in the defence of a little tower against Pompey 
in one day, was at that time a centurion of the eighth cohort of 
the sixth legion under Caesar. Vid. de Bell. Gall. 1. 6. c. 40, n. 7. 
It was usual also to describe the centurions as they were placed 
over the triarii, principes, or hastati. And this St. Luke, who had 
been at Rome, could not be a stranger to. There were three 
maniples in every cohort, manipulus triariorum, man. principum, 
and man. hastatorum. Over each of these maniples were two 


could not say, because there was no such legion then 
existing ^ When he says, a centurion of the Itahan 
cohort, no doubt he means a distinct, separate co- 
hort, which went under that name ^. 

That there were cohorts even of Romans, distinct 
from the legionary cohorts, I mean besides the prae- 
torian and city cohorts,' is as clear from Strabo and 
Tacitus as words can make it. Strabo, speaking of 
the Roman forces in Egypt, says, there are three 
legions, of which one is placed in the city, the other 
two in the country. Besides these, there are nine 
cohorts of Romans, three in the city, three near the 
borders of i^^'.thiopia in Syene, and three in another 
part of the country ". In his description of Syene, 
a little after, he says again. There are placed here 

centurions : the first chosen had the precedence, and commanded 
the order or century on the right hand, and was called Primus 
centurio, Liv. 1. 7. c. 41. Centurio primi pili, Liv. 2. 27. Caes. 
B. G. 3, 5. Veil. Paterc. 1. 2. c. 78, fin. Primipilus, Liv. 8. 8. Caes. 
B.G. 2, 25. or Princeps prior. B. C. 3. 64, fin. Princeps primus, 
Liv. 25. 14. or hastatus primus. Flor. 1. i. c. 18. n. 8. Minucius 
4t8e legionis primus hastatus. Oros. 1. 4, c. i. p. 222. Caes. B. C. 
1. I. c. 46. And of the inferior cohorts we read, Tertio anno vir- 
tutis causa mihi T. Quintius Flaminius deoumum ordinem hasta- 
tum assignavit, Liv. 42. 34. Nasennius octavum principem duxit, 
Tull. ad Brut. ep. 8. 

^ The conversion of Cornelius happened at the end of the 
reign of Caius, or the beginning of Claudius ; but the Italic le- 
gion was raised by Nero, as we are expressly informed by Dio, 
1. 55. p. 564, E. ; and Suetonius, as I think, confirms it, Ner. c. 19. 
4. We read not of the Italic legion before this time, but after is 
frequent mention made of it by Tacitus, Hist. 1. i. c. 59. et 64. 
1. 2. c. 41. et 100. et 1. 3, 14. 

^ As much as Tacitus, when he says, Sempronius Densus cen- 
turio prffitoriae cohortis. Hist. 1. i. c. 43, pr. 

" L-I7- P- 797»K. 


three cohorts of Romans for a guard ^. Tacitus, 
speaking of the legacies of the emperor Augustus, 
says, that he gave to the legionary soldiers, and to 
such cohorts as were composed of Roman citizens, 
three hundred iiummi, i. e. two pounds eight shil- 
lings and five pence farthing a man ^'. He had men- 
tioned the praetorian cohorts before, to whom Au- 
gustus left a mucli larger legacy. Had he hereby 
meant the urban cohorts^ no doubt he would have 
named them. They were but three % too small a 
body to be joined with the legionaries, and described 
by such a periphrasis. Besides, it is evident from 
Suetonius ^ and Dio '\ that they had five hundred 
nummi, i. e. four povmd and eight pence three far- 
things a man. Tacitus, in other parts of his history, 
also plainly distinguishes between the legionary and 
other cohorts ^. 

^ P. 8i7,D. Vid. p. 819, C. 

y Preetoriarum cohortium militibus singula nummum millia, 
legionariis aut cohortibus civium Romanorum trecenos nunimos 
viritim dedit. Ann. 1. i. c. 8. n. 6. Vid. Jac. Gronov. not. 

^ Tac. Ann. 1. 4. c. 5. n, 4. ^ Aug. 102. 4. n. 24. 

'" L, 56. p. 590, fin. et 59i,pr. 

'^ We read of separate cohorts in the Roman army, even from 
tlie early days of the republic. The brave Siccius led a cohort of 
eight hundred, Dionys. Hal. 1. 10. c. 43. Some cohorts of veterans 
followed T. Quinctius the consul, Liv. 1. 3. c. 69, pr. fin. At an- 
other time, Seniorum etiam cohortes factge, Liv. 1. 10. c. 21. And 
it is no uncommon thing, in the accounts given us of the Roman 
armies, to read of various cohorts over and above the legions, 
which cannot well be understood . of any but Roman cohorts. 
Vid. Cses. de Bell. Gal. 1. 5. c. 24. de Bell. Civ. 1. 3. c. 88, 89. 
Tac. H. 1. I. c. 59, 60. Vid. Not. ad num. 7. Ann. 1. 15. c. 10. 
Lips, de Rom. Mil. 1. i. Dial. 8. With such separate or inde- 
pendent cohorts at the decline of the republic, and beginning of 
the empire, they garrisoned the frontier places, as we have al- 


I cannot therefore make the least doubt but that 
there was at Caesarea such a cohort as we have been 
describing, composed perhaps chiefly of Italians, and 
from thence taking the name of the Italian cohort ^. 
That these separate cohorts should have names 
given them as well as the legions, to distinguish 
them from each other, was nothing more than ne- 
cessary. Accordingly, we read in Tacitus of cohors 

ready seen both from Strabo and CsesJir, and as might be further 
confirmed from Tacitus. Vid. Ann. 1. 15. c. 10. et I. 3. c. 47. et 
c, 41. Andecavos Acilius, excita cohorte, quae Lugduni prsesidium 
agitabat, coercuit. Turonii legionario militeoppressi. Et 1. 12.38. 
Legionarias cohortes exstruendis apud Sikiras praesidiis relictas, 
circumfundunt. Ac ni cito vicis et castellis proximis siibventum 
foret, i. e. Unless the cohorts, which were garrisoned in the 
neighbouring towns and fortifications, had come immediately to 
their relief, the legionary cohorts had been cut to pieces. 

•' The learned Dr. Lightfoot is of opinion that this cohort was 
the lifeguard of the procurator, and therefore were Italians, vol. i. 
p. 843. That it was no unusual thing for the governors of pro- 
vinces to have such a guard, appears from Cass, de Bell. Gal. 1. i. 
C.40. n. 15. where, professing that he would venture himself with 
the tenth legion only, he says, Sibique eam prsetoriam cohortem 
futuram. Kennet says, that it was the institution of Scipio Nu- 
mantinus, Antiq. of Rome, p. 191, pr. But many years before 
this, Scipio Africanus had such a cohort, as his own words will 
evince ; Tribunis edicit, ut ubi praetorio dimisso signa concinu- 
issent, extempio educerent e castris legiones, Lvo. 1. 30. c. 5. And 
so had Postumius the dictator some ages before j Cohorti suae, 
()ua£ de delecta manu pr^esidii causa circa se habebat. Liv. 1. 2. 
c. 20. We meet with the phrase Cohorti praetoriae, TuU. in Ferrem, 
1. I. c. 14. Asconius interprets it, Comitibus consularibus ; and so 
it seems to be understood in other parts of Tully's Speech against 
Verres, Vid. 1. 2. c. 10. (27) et Epist. ad Quint. 1. i. ep. i. c. 4, pr. 
However, had it been altogether unusual for the governors of 
provinces to have entertained such a guard, this phrase or way of 
speaking had been without foundation. Sylla, Mark Antony, 
and Octavius Caesar, had such a guard. Vid. Savil's View, p. 219. 


duodevicesima^, and of cohors septima decimal 

« Hist. 1. I. c. 64. n. 7. 

^ Ibid. c. 80. n. I. The auxiliary or social forces were divided 
into cohorts, and in reading the Roman historians it is not always 
possible to distinguish between them and the independent Roman 
cohorts we are speaking of, especially where cohorts are named 
in general without any further description. But we may very 
safely pronounce that Cohors duodevicesima and Cohors septima 
decima were not auxiliaries. For as we read not of such names 
given to any auxiliary cohorts, so we find them (if described at 
all) always described by the name of the place where they were 
raised, or by the peculiar arms they bore. Quatuor et triginta 
cohortes, ut noraina gentium, aut species armorum forent dis- 
cretse, Tac. Hist. 1. 2. c. 89. Thus we read of Cohors cetratorum, 
and Cohortes cetratse, Cces. B. C. 1. i. c. 39. et 55. et 70. et 75. 
Praemissis Gallorum, Lusitanorum, Britannorumque cohortibus. 
Tac. Hist. 1. I. c. 70. Cohortes duas universas Camertium, Tull. 
pro Balbo, 22. (50.) Cohortem Marsorum, Liv. 1. 33. c. 38. Co- 
hors Peligna, 1. 25. c. 14. Cohortes duas sociorum Lucanam 
Suessanamque, 1. 10. c. 33. The soldiers raised also in their own 
colonies, though Roman citizens, and distinguished from the 
auxiliaries, (as you may see by those words of Livy, M.Junius 
consul in provinciam Galliam transgressus, auxiliis protinus per 
civitates Gallise, militibusque colonis imperatis, 1. 41. c. 5.) yet 
were frequently in independent cohorts, which took their names 
from the colonies where they were raised. We have before ob- 
served, that Caesar mentions Duae coh. colonicae, Livy, Coh.Placen- 
tina, 1.41. c. I. Coh. Firmana et cohors Cremonensis, 1. 44. c. 40. 
which doubtless took their names from the colonies of Placentia, 
Firmum, and Cremona, vid. Liv. 1. 27. c. 11. And this, by the 
way, I take to be a new and clear proof of separate, independent 
cohorts of Roman citizens. 

As the two cohorts named Duodevicesima and Decima septima, 
could not be auxiliaries, so neither could they be legionary co- 
horts. It is true, the legionary cohorts were named from their 
number, as we have already seen from Caesar's Commentaries, 
I2ae legionis quartae cohortis, et primae cohortis legionis nonae, 
et tertiae cohortis legionis sub Q. Cicerone ; and TuUy also men- 
tions Primam cohortem, ad Att. 1. 5. ep. 20. But as there were 
X 2 


which probably was the cohort we have mentioned 
before, as placed by the emperor Claudius at Ostia 
for the prevention of fire. 

It appears to me, upon a careful examination of 
Josephus, that all the Roman forces which were or- 
dered in Judaea during the time it was a Roman 
province, before the destructive war broke out which 
ended in the ruin of the city and temple, were this 
sort of separate, independent cohorts. He tells us, 
that at the death of Herod Agrippa, which happened 
about four years after the conversion of Cornelius, 
there were five cohorts at Caesarea, composed of per- 
sons who were citizens of Caesarea or of Sebaste. 
He mentions these in particular, because of the in- 
sults they were guilty of towards the deceased 
Agrippa and his family, to whom they had been 
under great obligations ^. Afterwards, upon the oc- 
casion of the quarrel between the Jews and other 
inhabitants of Csesarea, he says, that the most of 
those who served there as soldiers under the Ro- 
mans were of Caesarea or Sebaste ^. This implies 
that they were not all so, but that there might be 
one or more cohorts of other nations ; of which the 
Italian cohort, mentioned Ijy St. Luke, might be one, 

no more than ten cohorts in a legion, the name of a legionary 
cohort could never exceed that number, Decinia cohors erat in- 
fiina. Since then there were cohorts which went by the name of 
Duodevicesima and Decima septima, it is not only a demonstration 
that there were such independent cohorts as I am pleading for, 
but that there were a considerable number of them, and that they 
often took their names from the order in which they were raised, 
as did the legions themselves. 

R Antiq. 1. 19. c. 9. §. i, 2. 

'' 'Ett* tZ Tot's TiMtarov(; rZv i-rto 'Pufxalovi eKcTa-e arpccrevofAivuv Kai- 
aapui tiva.1 koI 2e^a<rTij!/oiJ?. Antiq. 1. 20. C. 8. §. 7. 


if not before removed ; for this was thirteen or four- 
teen years after tlie conversion of Cornelius. 

Before this, it is said of Cumanus the procurator, 
that taking the Sebastene horse, and four cohorts of 
foot, he assisted the Samaritans against the Jews >. 
In the time of Florus the procurator, he tells us 
there came two cohorts from Caesarea to Jerusalem'^: 
and after the war broke out, when Titus came to 
his father Vespasian at Ptolemais, it is said, five co- 
horts from Csesarea joined them^ He tells us of 
another cohort at the same time in garrison at Asca- 
lon ^ : and the cohort left by Florus at Jerusalem 
had been some time before basely murdered by the 
Jews, and that on their sabbath °. Thus we find 
frequent mention of cohorts ; and although we read 
in Josephus of several legions in Syria, we find not 
an account of any one which was quartered in Ju- 
daea during this time, or indeed that did so much as 
enter it. 

Vitellius marched with two legions out of Syria 
to make war upon Aretas king of Arabia, by order 

' Antiq. 1. 20. C. 6. §. I. Tea-a-acpoi TdyfAara. This is a word 
often used by Greek writers to signify legions: that it cannot be 
so understood here, is evident from the circumstances of the case. 
And Josephus uses it elsewhere also to signify cohort particularly, 
1. 19. c. I. §.15. where he calls the body of German guards rdyfAac. 
Compare it with Suet. Aug. 49. 3. et ibi Not. et Galb. 12. 4. 

^ DeBell. Jud. 1. 2. c. 15. §. 3. 

^ Ibid. 1. 3. c. 4. §. 2. The army there described consisted of 
three legions and twenty-three cohorts, ten of which cohorts had 
one thousand foot each, the other thirteen six hundred foot and 
a hundred and twenty horse. The account of the auxiliaries fol- 
lows after. 

■" De Bell. Jud. 1, 3. c. 2. §. i. 

" Ibid. 1. 2. c. 17. §. 10. 

X 3 


of the emperor Tiberius ; but when they came to 
Ptolemais, he yielded to the intercession of the Jews, 
that they should not go through Judaea °. Petronius 
also took two legions from Syria, and came to Pto- 
lemais ; but the soldiers halted there, and he with 
his friends and servants only went to Tiberias, where 
the Jews prevailed with him to delay the execution 
of the order he had received from the emperor Caius 
to set up his image in the temple, and the legions 
proceeded no further p. 

The emperor Claudius was so highly offended 
with the five cohorts, which were composed of the 
citizens of Csesarea and Sebaste, for insulting the 
deceased Agrippa and his family, that he ordered 
Fadus the procurator to send them to Pontus in 
order to serve there, and to choose the same number 
of soldiers out of the Roman legions in Syria to sup- 
ply their place in Ca^sarea 'i. This not only shews 
us that the legions were quartered in Syria, but also 
teaches us that the separate cohorts we have been 
mentioning were sometimes formed out of the choice 
of the legionary soldiers ; and it is not improbable 
that they were usually so ^ The consequence of this 
must have been, that the independent cohorts of 
Roman citizens were esteemed more honourable than 
the legions ; and thus it manifestly was with regard 
to the praetorian and urban cohorts ^ 

° Antiq. 1. 18. c. 6. Hudson, but should be 5. §. 3. 

P Ibid. c. (wrongly numbered 9.) 8. §. 2, 3, &c. 

1 Ibid. 1. 19. c. 9. §. 2, prop. fin. 

"■ Thus Caesar says that he would make the tenth legion his 
praetorian cohort. De B. G. 1. i. c. 40. 

^ This appears from the largeness of their pay, and the legacies 
of Augustus, Tac. Ann. 1. i. c. 17. p. 34. 1. ult. Dio, 1. 53. p. 503, 
B. Tac. Hist. 1. i. c. 87. Suet. Aug. c. 102. n. 4. 


When the war broke out, Cestius took from An- 
tioch the twelfth legion complete, and two thousand 
chosen men out of the other legions, and six cohorts, 
which probably might be such cohorts as we have 
been mentioning ^ Indeed before this we read, that 
when Fadus did by the emperor's order make a de- 
mand that the vestments of the high priest should 
be deposited in the castle of Antonia, Longinus the 
procurator of Syria came to Jerusalem, and with 
him a great force, to prevent the tumults and dis- 
orders which he feared might arise from such a de- 
mand ". The words here are very general, ttoXXtjv 
cTrayof/.evog Ivvafxiv. They signify, unquestionably, a 
greater number of soldiers than were usually brought 
to Jerusalem : but as it is not said that he came im- 
mediately from Syria, it is possible he might come 
only from Caesarea> and bring with him the cohorts 
from thence. Or if he came from Syria, a consider- 
able number of horse and light-armed foot might 
attend him, and he might take the cohorts from 
Caesarea in his way. Had he brought a legion with 
him, I think we may be very certain that Josephus 
would have expressed it. He who gives so particular 
an account that the chief of the Jewish nation met 
Vitellius at Ptolemais, and interceded with him, that 
the legions might not march through their country, 
because it was contrary to their laws to permit 
images (of which there were many in their legionary 
ensigns) to be brought into it % would he pass over 
this so slightly, and say nothing of any opposition 
that was made to it y ? And was it possible there 

' De Bell. 1. 2. c. 18. §. 9. " Antiq. 1. 20. c. i. §. i. 

^ Ibid. 1. 18. c. (6. Hud. for) 5. §. 3. 

y Read the opposition that was made to Pilate, when he 



should not be great opposition made to it ? and that 
in a reign when the Jews were highly favoured, and 
carried almost every point they asked ^ ? 

Upon the whole, I think there is clear proof that 
the cohorts quartered in Judaea were separate, in- 
dependent cohorts ^ ; and that St. Luke has spoken 
most justly and properly in calling Cornelius a cen- 
turion of the Italian cohort, and Julius a centurion 
of the Augustal cohort ^, (which not improbably was 
a cohort of the Sebastenes, mentioned by Josephus,) 
and Lysias the chiliarch. We have rendered it chief 
captain of the haud^, but in the Greek it is yjXia^yoq, 
i. e. tribune or prefect of the cohort which was then 
at Jerusalem : for ordinarily there was but one co- 
hort quartered at Jerusalem. Upon the great feasts, 

brought the emperor's image from Samaria to Jerusalem among 
the military ensigns, 1. i8. c. 4. Hud. for 3. §. i. It is there said 
that former governors had caused their forces to inarch into Jeru- 
salem with ensigns that had no such ornaments, i. e. no images 
of any kind. It seems to me to have been entirely arbitrary, and 
wliolly in the breast of the commanding officer, what ensigns 
were made use of in the separate and independent cohorts. We. 
read of ten thousand men under one ensign, who were the life- 
guard of Octavius Caesar in Appian, quoted by Savil, p. 219. But 
what was the legion without its eagle ? Read also the cruel event 
of Herod's fixing a golden eagle upon the gate of the temple. 
Antiq. 1. 17. c. 6. §. 2, 3. De Bell. 1. i. c. 33. §. 2, 3, &c. 

^ Vid. Antiq. 1. 19. c. 5 et 6. et 1. 20. c. i et 5. 

^ There is a German professor who has wrote a dissertation 
upon this subject, and is of my opinion. His name is Schwarzius 
of Altorf. I have endeavoured what I could, but have not been 
able to see his treatise. It was printed at Altorf, 1720. Vid. 
Wolf. Curae. in Act. x. i. Could I have procured it, I might, I 
believe, have spared much of the labour I have been at upon this 

'' Acts xxvii. 1. ' Actsxxi. ^1. 


and the apprehension of any commotion, doubtless 
there were more cohorts sent thither : for which 
reason there were frequent marchings of the soldiers 
between Jerusalem and Caesarea ^. But that there 
was ordinarily one cohort only at Jerusalem seems 
evident to me from what passed between Florus 
and the Jewish magistrates, when he left the city 
the last time, just before the war broke out. He 
told them of his departure, and offered to leave with 
them as strong a guard as they should desire. They 
undertook that all things would be secure and quiet 
if he would leave with them a cohort, but not that 
which had fought with the inhabitants ; for the 
people could not but have an enmity to that cohort, 
by reason of what they had suffered. For Josephus 
tells us before, that Florus had ordered the soldiers 
to plunder part of the city, and kill all they met 
with. In the execution of which order, the lives of 
three thousand six hundred of the inhabitants were 
destroyed ^. Florus agreed to the proposal, and 
having changed the cohort fas they desired, returned 
with the rest of the forces to Caesarea ^ As it is 
not to be thought that the magistrates at such a 
time as this would have asked for a less guard than 
was usually placed at Jerusalem, so we may be very 
sure that if they had, Florus would not have con- 
sented to it. And by those words, a.KXo!E,aq t^v airet- 
pav, having changed the cohort, as the magistrates 
desired, it should seem that it was not any part of 
the forces which Florus brought with him, but the 

'' Vid. Antiq. 1. i8. c. 4. Hud. for 3. §. i. De Bell. Jud. 1. 2. 
c. 15. §. 3. 

e De Bell. Jud. 1.2. c. 14. §.9. 
f Ibid, c. 15. §. 6. 


cohort which was in garrison at Jerusalem that had 
done the mischief, and irritated the people. 

§. 2. We read in the History of the Acts, that the 
owners of the maid which had the spirit of divina- 
tion drew Paul and Silas to the magistrates, and 
accused them of trouhling the city, and teaching 
customs which were unlawful for them to receive 
and observe, being Romans ^. Persons who are in 
the least acquainted with the state of our colonies 
in the West Indies, cannot but know how much the 
price of a slave is increased by the profession he is 
of, the business he has learnt, and the capacity he is 
in of earning money. The ancient Greeks and Ro- 
mans possessed slaves of all professions, philoso- 
phers '', rhetoricians, grammarians, physicians, as 
well as persons bred up to every sort of mechanic 
traded Among the rest, they sometimes happened 
to have slaves that were astrologers, or magicians, 
or diviners ^. 'Eyyaa-rpifjivQct^ or those who had the 
spirit of Python, were doubtless very rare, and the 
purchase of such a one must have been exceeding 
high. The maidservant here mentioned, you see, 
is represented as having more than one owner. Her 

K Ch. xvi. 19 — 2T. 

'' Thus was the celebrated Plato, Diog. Liiert. 1. 3. n. 19. Sen. 
Epist. 47. p. 1 17. Vid. Pint, in Dion. Corn. Nep. in Dion. cit. in 
Not. Menag. in Diog. Laert. Thus was the famous Diogenes 
the cynic, being sold to Xeniades the Corinthian, Diog. Laert. 1. 6. 
n. 29, 30, 36. Sen. Ep. 47. p. 117. and Epictetus the Stoic. Vid. 
Fabric. Bib. Grsec. 

' Vid. Pignor. de Servis, et Popma de Oper. Serv. Diogenes 
tells Xeniades, who bought him, that a physician or a pilot, 
though a slave, must be obeyed. That in like manner he ought 
to hearken to him, though his slave. Diog. Laert. 1. 6. c. 30, 36. 

^ Vid. Pignor. de Serv. p. 355. 


price, it is likely, was too great to be advanced by a 
single person : at least no one in prudence cared to 
risk so large a sum upon the uncertainty of a life : 
for though she brought much gain, how soon might 
it be cut off by her decease ! 

There were two things therefore which deeply 
affected her owners upon St. Paul's having cast out 
the spirit ; the disappointment of their hopes and 
the loss of their capital. This person would now 
sell for no more than a common servant-maid. Un- 
questionably they thought that no small injury was 
done them, and were highly provoked. They hale 
Paul and Silas therefore to the magistrates. But 
what can they accuse them of? St. Paul had herein 
broken no Roman law. The casting out a spirit of 
divination was a thing unknown, unheard of among 
the Romans, and therefore we may be sure there 
was no law to provide against it. For this reason 
they are obliged to take up with general accusations, 
such as troubling the city, and teaching customs 
which it was not lawful for the Romans to receive. 
The name of Jews was generally odious among the 
heathen ^, so that they readily believed any crimes 
imputed to them. The masters of the damsel there- 
fore open their indictment with declaring that the 
persons accused were Jews. 

No doubt St. Paul had taught in this, as in all 
other cities of the heathen, that they should turn 
from the worship of idols unto the living God, who 

' Suspiciosa ac maledica civitate, spoken of the nation of the 
Jews, Tull. pro Flac. c. 28. Judaea gens contumelia numinum 
insignis, Plin. 1. 13. §. 9. p. 69. Dum Assyrios penes, Medosque 
et Persas oriens fuit, despectissima pars servientium. And a little 
after, Teterrimam gentem, Tac. Hist. 1. 5. c. 8. p. 358. 


made heaven and earth. How far the teaching this 
was punishable by the Roman laws is not now so 
clear. That there were laws forbidding the intro- 
ducing of strange deities, or new rites and ceremo- 
nies, in the public worship, is most certain ™. Not- 
withstanding, there seems to have been a toleration, 
both at Rome and throughout the whole empire, 
for every person to worship what gods he pleased, 
and in what manner he thought fit, at his own 
home in private °. Nor does there seem to have 
been any law against the instructing persons in pri- 
vate in the ceremonies and worship of any deity. 
The Jews, we know, made many proselytes at Rome 
itself ", as well as in other parts of the empire. 

However, whether the preaching of the apostle 
was a crime against the Roman law or not, the ma- 
gistrates of Philippi heard no proofs of the things 
alleged, nor gave the prisoners leave to make any 
defence; but, seeing the populace enraged against 
them, without more ado stripped them, beat them, 
and committed them to close confinement. It is not 
improbable that the magistrates might have been 
before informed of what had happened to the ser- 

'" Liv. 1. 39. c. 16. p. 1156. Tull. (le Leg. I. 2. c. 8, et 10. See 
the advice of Maecenas to Augustus, Die, 1. 52. p. 490, D. and 
how far he followed it, Suet. Aug. c. 93, pr. 

" Kaj TtdnTuv fAd'AitTTa eyuye Tidav/xctKa, Kenlwep [xvpluv o(Tuv €<< t»;v 
TiiXtv ^-KtikvBoruv (Bvuv, 012 OOAAH ANAFKH 2EBEIN TOTS DA- 
TPIOT2 0EOT2 T0I2 OIKO0EN N0MIM0I2, otJSevo? tU ^^\ov iX^>.v6e 

Dionys. Hal, 1. 2. c. 19. Omnes enim religione movenlur, et 
deos patrios sibi retinendos arbitrantur. Cic. in Ver. quoted by 
Dr. Whitby on Acts xvi. 21, 

" Vid. Hor. Sat. 1. 1,4. v. ult. Juv. Sat. 14. v. 96, &c. Pars. 
Sat. 5. V. 179, &c. Jos. Antiq. 1. 18. c. 4. §. 5. 


vant-mald ; might impute the change wrought in 
her to some wicked magical airts ; might think it no 
small injury done to her owners, and looking upon 
Paul and Silas as mean and contemptible persons p, 
and seeing the whole city set against them, and de- 
manding their punishment, they might judge it the 
most prudent part to act as they did, in order to 
appease and satisfy the multitude. 

J. 3. The magistrates here are called app^ovref^, 
and (XTpoTYiyoi'^. The word apyjjv-ieg signifies rulers or 
governors in general ; but arparriyoi is the word used 
by the Greeks to denote the Roman pr^tors. The 
proper name of the magistrates in a Roman colony 
is duumviri, who answer to the consuls at Rome in 
the same manner as decuriones to the senate. Tully 
informs us, that the duummri of Capua called them- 
selves praetors, and had lictors going before them, 
not with sticks or staves, but with the fasces or 
rods, in the same manner as the praetors had at 
Rome ; and thinks it not improbable, that in a few 
years they would affect the name of consuls ^. I 
make no doubt but that the example set by Capua 
soon spread, and it became common in other colo- 

P It is very likely that it was usual for them to chastise slaves, 
and persons who were esteemed of a mean and servile condition, 
in this hasty manner. Even the municipal magistrates had a 
power to chastise slaves, 1. 12. ff. de Jurisd. Vid. et Huber. Dis- 
sert. 1. I. Diss. I. c. 6. p. 37. et Diss. 2. c. 3. p. 54. 

1 Ver. 19. "■ Ver. 20. 

' Cum caeteris in coloniis duumviri appellentur, hi se prsetores 
appellari volebant. Quibus primus annus banc cupiditalem attu- 
lisset, nonne arbitramini paucis annis fuisse consuhmi nomen ap- 
petituros ? Deinde anteibant lictores, non cum bacillis, sed, ut hie 
praetoribus anteeunt, cum fascibus duobus. De. Leg. Agrar. 34, 


nies also to call their magistrates praetors. No won- 
der if the Greeks therefore, who were great masters 
in the art of flattery, and never diminished or les- 
sened the honours due to any, gave them all the 
name of aTpuTYiyo), or praetors. That they did so, is 
very evident from the book of Modestinus the Ro- 
man lawyer, de ExcusationibuSy which he wrote in 
the Greek language, wherein, speaking of the ma- 
gistrates of colonies, he calls them cxTparYjyoi^. And 
Theophilus, a Greek interpreter of the laws, does 
the same ". If the Roman lawyers give them that 
name, we may be sure it was only because it had 
been the prevailing practice. 

J. 4. As we have seen from Tully that the duum- 
viri of Capua, or praetors, as they called themselves, 
had their lictors with the fasces going before them, 
so we find in St. Luke, that the magistrates of Phi- 
lippi had also their pa(3lovyoi ^, v/hich is the word 
used by the Greeks to signify the Roman lictors. 
These were officers who constantly attended the 
chief Roman magistrates, to be ready upon all occa- 
sions to seize and chastise offenders. It is said the 
magistrates of Philippi rent off the clothes of Paul 
and Silas y, i. e. they ordered the lictors or officers 
to do it. Nothing more common than to impute 
that to the magistrate which is done by his order '. 

' In 1. 6. §. 1 6. {^. de Excusal. Tut. et 1. 15. §. 9. eod. Vid. 
Hub. 1. 1. Diss. 2. p. 51. 

" Ad Tit. 20. §. 4. 1. I. Instit. Vid. Hub. p. 53. 

^ Ver. 35. 38. > Ver. 22. 

' Thus, although it is said, ver. 22, that the magistrates com- 
manded them to be beaten, yet, ver. 23, it is said the magistrates 
laid many stripes upon them, and cast them into prison; and, 
ver. 33, the magistrates have beat us openly, and have cast us 


It was the custom to strip malefactors before they 
beat or scourged them. They did not give the of- 
fender leave to pull off his own clothes, nor would 
they suffer the officers to untie, unhasp, or unbutton 
them, and to take them off in a regular way ; but 
they were torn or rent off their backs in the hastiest 
manner. The word irepLppYj^avT^g, made use of by St. 
Luke, signifies this, and is the very word made use 
of by other Greek authors ^ ; and a word of the same 
import, signifying force and violence, by the La- 
tins ^. 

^. 5. The magistrates having given strict charge 
to the gaoler to keep Paul and Silas safely, it is said 
he thrust them into the inner prison, and made their 
feet fast in the stocks ^. The inner prison goes by 
a great variety of names among ancient authors'^, 
and is in one place of the Roman law called sedis 
intim^ tenehrcE^. It was dark as well as inward, 
remote both from light and air. The stocks, called 
in the Greek ^yAov, in Latin nervus, or cippus, was 
an engine so contrived, that the prisoner sitting 
on the ground, his legs were put into two holes, 
which were drawn asunder to what degree the 
gaoler pleased ; so that the person fastened therein 

into prison. Thus it is said, Philip king of Macedonia, e/Aao-T^^wo-cv, 
scourged Aphthonetus, and ociteKreivev, executed, or put to death, 
Archidamus. Jilian. Var. Hist. 1. 14. c. 49. Vid. Periz. notas. 

^ Piut. in Mario et in Camillo, citat. Grot, in loc. 

^ Lacerantibus vestem lictoribus, Liv, 28. Scissa veste, Tac. 
Hist. 1. 4. c, 27. Fasces lictori auferentem et sua vestimenta 
scindenteni, quia tardius scindebantur aliena, Senec. de Ira, 1. i. 
c. 16. p. 2f, pr. Vid. Grot. ibid. 

■^ Ver. 23, 24. -J Vid. Wolf. Cur. in loc. 

= L. I. circa med. C. de Custod. Reor. Tenebris vinculisque 
mandare. Tidl. in Cat. 4. (10.) 5. 


often lay in the greatest torture and misery. Men- 
tion is made of this engine by many of the ancient 
authors ^. 

^. 6. We read afterwards that the gaoler would 
have killed himself, supposing that the prisoner had 
been fled^. The cause of this sudden and desperate 
resolution was the severe punishment he dreaded. 
For by the Roman law the gaoler was to undergo 
the same punishment which the malefactors, who 
escaped by his negligence, were to have suffered ^. 
And it was a usual thing both with Greeks and Ro- 
mans, in any great distress, immediately to rid them- 
selves of their fears and lives together '\ Even the 
philosophers themselves countenanced and encou- 
raged this practice '\ 

§. 7. The magistrates, having appeased the people 
by scourging and imprisoning Paul and Silas, had 

f Vid. Grot, in loc. et Wolf. Cur. s Ver. 27. 

'' L. 4. C. de Custod. Reor, Vid. et 1. 8. et 12, ff. eod. 

' Vid. Toll, pro Cluen. 61. (171.) 

^ By their doctrine. Vid. Sen. de Prov. c. 2, prop. fin. et c, 6. 
per tot. Epist. 58, prop. fin. Quemadmodum navem eligani na- 
vigaturus, et domum habitaturus, ita mortem utique, qua sum 
exiturus e vita, Epist. 70. It was the opinion of the Stoics in 

general, E^Xoyt'^ i^d^eiv tctvTov roZ iSlOV rlv aocplv k^v tv crKA-^poTtp^ 

yiyfiTat aXytj^ovi, rj •jf^parcrea-tv, vj voaoiq aviaTOti. Diog. Laert. 1. 7. C. 
130, fin. Vid. Not. Menag. And of the Epicureans, ^quo animo 
e vita, cum ea non placeat, tanquam e theatro, exeamus. Tull. de 
Fin. 1. I. c. 15. Vid. et c. 19. et Diog. Laert. 1. 10. c. 124 — 127. 
et 139. And by their practice. Thus it is said that Menippus vn 
aflv/xj'a? Ppoxu tov /3/ov fA.€Ta,y^Xa.^ai. Diog. Laert. 1. 6. c. 1 00. Metro- 

cles, tavTov itvt^aq. Ibid. C. 95. Zeno, a.i:0T:yila(; eaVTOV. Id. 1. 7., 
C. 28, fin. Cleanthes, a-KuayJ^i^evw rpocfylj^ TeAevTyjaai. C. 1 76. See 
what is said of the death of Pythagoras, Diog. Laert. 1. 8. c. 19. 
of Aristotle, 1. 5. c. 6. of Empedocles, 1. 8. 69. and of Democri- 
tus, Athenaeus, 1. 2. cit. Menag. in not. ad Diog. Laert. 1. 9. 43. 


attained their chief end. No doubt they thought 
the prisoners had undergone sufficient punishment, 
since no crime was proved against them, and there- 
fore sent an order to the gaoler the next morning to 
discharge them. But St. Paul judged it reasonable 
that the magistrates should be made sensible of their 
rashness and injustice, that it might be a caution to 
them for the future not to give way to popular cla- 
mour, and suffer themselves to be borne down by 
the violence of the multitude, so as to injure and 
oppress the innocent. He therefore says to the 
gaoler and lictors who brought the order, They have 
beaten us oj^enly uncondemned, being Romans, and 
have cast us into prison ; and now do they thrust 
lis out privily ? nay verily ; but let them come 
themselves and fetch us out^. 

It is here asked. Why St. Paul did not plead his 
privilege sooner, in order to prevent the punish- 
ment? Why did he not declare himself a Roman 
while the lictors were stripping him, as he did at 
another time to the centurion, while they were bind- 
ing him with thongs ™ ? When St. Paul spake to the 
centurion he was safely lodged in the castle, freed 
from the bustle and hurry of the multitude, and had 
time sufficient to tell his case in the coolest and 
most deliberate manner. But at Philippi the execu- 
tion was so hasty, that he had not time to say any 
thing that might make for his defence ; and the 
noise and confusion were so great, that had he cried 
out with never so loud a voice that he was a Roman, 
he might reasonably believe that he should not be 
regarded. Seeing also the fury of the multitude, for 

' Ver. 37. '" Acts xxii. 25, 


immediately upon the accusation it is said, the mul- 
titude rose up together against them"^ ; it is not 
improbal)le he might think it most advisable to sub- 
mit to the sentence pronounced, however unjust, in 
order to quiet the people, and prevent a greater evil. 
For he was in danger of being forced out of the 
hands of the magistrates, and torn in pieces. But, 
whatever were the true reasons which prevailed with 
St. Paul not to declare himself a Roman, or what- 
ever it was that prevented the effect which such a 
declaration, if made, ought to have had, the over- 
ruling hand of Providence was herein plainly vi- 
sible ; for the conversion of the gaoler and his 
household was occasioned by the execution of this 
hasty and unjust sentence. 

That it was unlawful to beat a Roman with rods, 
that it was much more so to beat him uncondemned, 
is evident from the Roman laws °, Tully p, and many 

" Acts xvi. 22. 

° Porcia and Sempronia, mentioned by Tully, pro Rabir. 3. (8.) 
in Ver. 1. 5. 63, pr. (162.) Vid. et Alex, ab Al. vol. i. 1. 3- c. 20. 

P- 77°- 

P Oblitosne igitur hos putatis esse, quemadmodum sit iste so- 
litus virgis plebeni llomanam concidere ? In Ver. 1. r. 47. (122.) 
Csedebatur virgis in medio foro INIessanae civis Romanus, jiidices ; 
cum interea nuUiis gemitus, nulla vox alia istius miseri inter dolo- 
rem crepitumque plagarum audiebatur, nisi hsec, Civis Romanus 
sum. Hac se commemoratione civitatis omnia verbera depulsu- 
rura, cruciatumque a corpore dejecturum arbitrabatur. In Ver. 
1. 5. 62, fin. 63. (162, 163.) Vid. et (144. 147.) Facinus est vin- 
ciri civem Romanum, scelus verberari, prope parricidium necari. 
In Ver. 1. 5. 66. (170.) Causa cognita mulli possunt absolvi ; in- 
cognita quidem condemnari nemo potest. Ibid. 1. i. 9. (25, fin.) 
Apollonium — indicia causa in vincla conjecit, 1. 5. 8. (18.) Quse- 
ram, cur hunc eundem Apollonium, Verres idem, repente, nulla 
nova re allata, nulla defensione, sine causa de carcere emitti jus- 


other authors i. St. Paul says, They have heaten us 
openly. It was deemed a great aggravation of any 
injury by the Roman law, that it was done in public, 
before the peopled He adds. And noiv do they 
thrust us out privily f Would they conceal the in- 
jury they have done us, by discharging us thus se- 
cretly ? No, it is fitting, that as they have beaten us 
openly, so they should make an open declaration of 
our innocence. Let them therefore come to the pri- 
son, and publicly acknowledge the injustice they have 
done us, by giving us a dismission in their own per- 
sons. That this and more might be sometimes done 
by the magistrates conscious of a false imprison- 
ment appears from Lucian, who represents the go- 
vernor of Egypt as speaking kindly to, and comfort- 
ing Antiphilus and Demetrius for the punishment 
they had undergone by being unjustly detained in 
prison, and giving them a very large sum of money 
out of his own purse ^. 

serit? Tantumque in hoc crimine siispicionis esse affirmabo, &c. 
Ibid. 9. (22.) 

T Traxeratque magnam senatiis partem ut indefensum et inau- 

ditum dedi ad exitium postularent. dari tempiis, edi crimina, 

quamvis invisum ac nocentem, more tamen audiendum censebant. 
Tac. Hist. 1. 2. c. 10. Inauditi atque indefensi tanquam inno- 
centes perierant. Ibid. 1. i. c. 6. Vid. et Tertull. Apuleii. Salvian. 
cit. Grot, in loc. 

'■ It was esteemed atrox injuria vesti mentis scissis to have his 
clothes torn off, though he had suffered nothing in his body, 1. 9. 
§. 1. ff. de Injur. But to undergo both, and that publicly, was 
a much higher aggravation, 1. 7. §. 8. ff. de Injur. Pauli Seiitent. 
1. 5. tit. 4. § .10. Atrocitatem aut locus facit, aut tempus ; locus, 
si in theatro aut in foro fiat — Si die festo ludorum, et conspiciente 
populo, injuria fiat, atrox est tempore. Vid. it. not. 32. 

^ Toxaris, p. 80. D. E. 

Y 2 


It is afterwards said, that the magistrates feared^ 
when they heard that they were Romans, and came 
and besought them"^, and brought them out, und 
desh'ed them to depart out of the city''. The ma- 
gistrates, conscious of the iniquity they had com- 
mitted, and the punishment they were liable to, 
might well be afraid. For Paul and Silas had their 
option, either to bring a civil action against them, or 
to indict them criminall)^ for the injury doney. In 
either of which cases had they been cast, they were 
rendered infamous ', would be incapable of being 
any more in the magistracy % and subjected to se- 
veral other legal incapacities'', besides the punish- 
ment they were to undergo at the discretion of the 
judge, which in so atrocious an injury could not 
have been small ^. The learned Grotius is of opinion 

^ In like manner it is said of Lysias the tribune, that he was 
afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had 
bound him. Acts xxii. 29. 

" It should rather have been translated comforted them, •naptKo.- 
'A€(rav av-vovi;, exactly of the same import with Lucian's irapa,[ji.v6Yi(Ta.- 
f/.€vo(;. Toxar. ubi supra. They gave them good words, telling 
them how little they had deserved the treatment they had suf- 
fered, commended their patience, and said everj' thing that was 
proper to induce them to forgive the injury. Vid. Apul. Miles. 3. 
p. 50. 

^ Ver. 38, 39. >■ Vid. Voet. ad Pand. 1. 47. tit. 10. §. 2. 

13. 14. 15. 24. Huber. Dissert. 1. i. p. 57, 58. 

z L. I. his qui not. Infamia, 1. 7. ff. de pub. Judiciis. 
Pauli Sent. 1. 5. tit. 4. §. 9. Vid. not. 27 — 31. 

=* L. 5. fF. de Decurionibus et Pauli Sent. 1. i. tit. de Decur. 


^' They could neither be nor appoint procuratores and cognitores, 
attorneys and solicitors. Pauli Sent. 1. i. tit. 2. §. i. 1. r. §, 8. ff. 
de Postul. §. ult. Instit. de Exception. 1. 15. §. 2. ff. de Probation. 
1. 7. ff de Postul. 

•^ In quos extra ordinem animadvertitur, ita ut prius ingruentis 


that they might have been indicted for the crime 
lessee majestatis, of treason against the Roman peo- 
ple. For he adds, such was the law, that the ma- 
jesty of the Roman people was thought to be hurt 
by the hurting of a Roman citizen ^. But I cannot 
find that he has sufficient authority for this. 

It may possibly be asked, how St. Paul found so 
easy credit, when he asserted that he was a Roman, 
both here at Philippi, and in the castle of Antonia 
at Jerusalem ? It is very probable that the magis- 
trates of Philippi, when they sentenced him to be 
whipped without a hearing, took him for a person 
of a mean and servile condition. It is certain they 
treated him as such. It is not unlikely that Lysias 
the tribune might have the same notion of him when 
he ordered him the question. Is it to be supposed 
that they would readily believe one whom they 
looked upon as in so low a state of life ? and that 
in a thing which was so manifestly for his present 
advantage ? The answer to this is clear. It was at 
his own great peril, if he was afterwards found not 
to be what he had professed. Arrian tells us, that 
those who feigned themselves to be Roman citizens, 
when in truth they were not such, were severely 
punished^. And, what is yet more home to the 

consilium pro modo commentse fraudis poena vindicetur exsilii, 
aut metalli aut operis publici. PauLi Sent. 1. 5. tit. 4. §. 8. 1. ult. 
ff. de Injur. 1. ult. fF. de privat. delict. The injury done St. Paul 
was dupliciter atrox, re et tempore. L. 7. §. 8. ff. de Injur, or 
tripliciter, according to Pauli Sent. 1. 5. tit. 4. §. 10. Etiam ex 
lege Cornelia injuriarum actio civiliter moveri potest, condemna- 
tione aestimatione judicis facienda. L. 37. §. i. if. de Injur. 1. 7' 
§. 6. ff. eod. 

"' In ver. 38. 

••■ Qui jus Romanse civitatis mentiuntur, graviter puniuntur. In 
Y 3 


present purpose, Suetonius informs us that the em- 
peror Claudius beheaded such who usurped the Ro- 
man citizenship, and that in the place where they 
usually executed malefactors ^ It was the eleventh 
year of this emperor's reign when St. Paul was im- 
prisoned at Philippi ; so that it was at no less peril 
than that of his life, and he was in danger of suffer- 
ing the shameful death of a common malefactor, had 
he taken upon him to plead the privileges of a Ro- 
man citizen, and was not such in truth. 

J. 8. It is said that Lysias the chief captain or 
tribune commanded that St. Paul should be ex- 
amined by scourging^, that he might know what 
heinous crime he had been guilty of, which so high- 
ly provoked the people. The word which we trans- 
late examine signifies to examine by torture '\ It 
was part of the Roman law to torture persons, in 
order to find out the truth \ That scourging was 
used by way of question or torture, is evident both 
from the Roman law and historians ^ ; and indeed, 
I am apt to think, they commonly began the ques- 
tion with scourging^. It is added, A7id as they 

Epictet. 1. 3. c. 22. cit. Basnage, Ann. vol. i. p. 627. n. 21, fin. 
Vid. et TuU. de Offic. 1. 3. 11. (47). 

^ Civitatem Romanam usurpantes in campo Esquilino securi 
percussit. Claud, c. 25. n. 9. s Acts xxii. 24. 

'" Mda-Ti^iv av£TaZ,€(76ai. Vid. Grot. in Matt, xxvii. 19. et Wolf. 
Cur. in loc. 

' Vid. Tit. de Quaistionibus in D. et C. Pauli Sent. 1. 5. tit. 14. 
de Quaestionibiis habendis. Suet. Aug. 19. 4. Tib. 19. 3. et 58. 2. 
et 62. I, 2, 3. Cai. 32. 2. Claud. 34. 2. Ner. 35. 7, Tac. Ann. 
1. I.e. 30. 1). 5. et 1. 14. c. 60. n. 3. 

•* Vid. Grot, in Matt, xxvii. 19. 

' At illam non verbera, non ignes, non ira eo acrius torquen- 
tium, ne a fiiemina spernerentur, pervicere. Tac. Ann. 1. 15. c. 57. 


hound Paul with thongs '". The words in the Greek 
are, 'Q.g Trpoereivev avrov to7$ ifxaaiv, which signify not 
the binding him, but the shewing him the thongs 
wherewith they were to scourge him, and threaten- 
ing him therewith". For this undoubtedly was the 
method, to bring into their view, and lay before per- 
sons the instruments and engines of their torture, to 
try whether they would not confess the truth before 
they were actually applied ^. 

^. 9. The chief captain, we are told, was afraid, 
after he knew that Paul was a Roman, because he 
had hound him p. For it is before said, that he had 
commanded him to he hound with two chains^. 
Tuliy informs us that it was a crime to bind or im- 
prison a Roman citizen "" ; he means, no doubt, un- 
condemned, as was the case we are now speaking 
of. It is well known, that one method of confine- 
ment among the Romans was by chaining the pri- 
soner to a soldier ^. The chain was fastened by one 
end to the wrist of the prisoner, by the other end to 
the wrist of the soldier. And sometimes they were 
fastened by two chains to two soldiers. In this man- 
ner was St. Paul conducted into the castle of Anto- 
nia, and lay there chained between two soldiers the 
first night *. 

"^ Ver. 25. " Vid. Grot, in loc. et Wolf. Cur. 

° Tormentorum adspectum et minas non tulere. Tac. Ann. 
1. 15. c. 56. Voet. in flf. de Quaest. §. 2. ad fin. pag. 

P Ver. 29. 1 Acts xxi. 33. 

■^ Facinus est vinciri civem Romanum. In Ver. 1. 5. (170.) 

** Vid. Tit. if. de Custod. et Exhib. Reor. Alligatique sunt 
etiam qui alligaverunt, nisi tu forte levioreni in sinistra catenam 
putas. Sen. de Tranq. c. 10. Eadem catena et custodiani et mili- 
tem copulat. Sen. Epist. 5, prop. fin. Joseph. Antiq. 1. 18. c. 7. 
§.5. t Ver. 30. 

Y 4 


Lysias discoursing with St. Paul in the castle, 
after having asked him whether he was a Roman, 
says, With a great sum ohtainecl I this freedom ". 
That the freedom of the city of Rome was often- 
times sold, we may easily collect from a passage in 
Tally ^ ; and that it was so more particularly in the 
reign of the emperor Claudius, Dio will inform us >. 

We read that St. Paul ^ appealed from Festus the 

" Ver. 27, 28. 

^ Ei Dolabella rogatu meo civitatem a Caesare impetravit, — 
Ciimque propter quosdam sordidos homines, qui Csesaris beneficia 
vendebant, tabulam, in qua nomina civitate donalorum incisa as- 
sent, revelli jussisset ; eidem Dolabellse, me audiente, Caesar dixit, 
nihil esse quod de Mega vereretur ; beneficium siium in eo ma- 
nere. Ad Famil. 1. 13. ep. 36. 

y IloXXot Tcafa. ttjc, Mea-a-aXiv/ji; tuv re Katcrapeiuv dvovvro (tjjv troKi- 
retav) kou 81a tdvro fji.cydi.'kwv to tzfZrov ^p-^fAciruv upaOeTa-a, ItchS" ovtw^ 
i-rib T?5? evyjEpelai; iictvuv^Ofj, ua-re kcu XoyowoiTjO^va* oti Ka.v vaikiva t<? 

(7Kevfl o-i/vT£Tp<|M./A€va S5 Tiv(, '7:o7uT^(; eVrai rj 8' ovv MetraaXlva, oH re 

ocitiAevOepoi airov oinoiq oii TrjV TcoXnelav f^ivov, oiihe raq o-r/jaTeia?, k«» tos^ 
eTrjT3OT6»a^, Ta? re riyf/AOVtlai;, a'AAcc na) t' aKXa, •na.via acpei^Si; ivuKcv^ 
Kcci tKa-ji-fiKevov. Dio, 1. 60. p. 676, C. D. E. Hence Tacitus says, 
Per avaritiam Claudianorum temporum, empto jure muniendi. 
Hist. I. 5. c. 12. 

^ It has been a question much agitated among the learned, how 
St. Paul's ancestor became free of the city of Rome ? St. Paul 
saying in his answer to Lysias, But I was free born. Acts xxii. 28. 
Vid. Gron. not. ad Joseph, p. 41 — 46. Never certainly was there 
a dispute more needless, since it is so very jilain from many un- 
questionable authorities that the freedom of the city of Rome was 
attainable by foreigners various ways. By merit : thus the two 
whole cohorts of Camertians before named ; thus Heracliensium 
legio, and many others, mentioned by TuUy in the same place, 
pro Balbo, c. 22. By favour : thus the cohort garrisoned at Tra- 
pezus, spoken of by Tacitus, Hist. 1. 3. c. 47. Thus Alaudarum 
legio, so often mentioned by Cicero. Suet. .lul. 24. 2. Nothing 
more certain than that the Jews assisted Julius Caesar with their 
forces. Jos. Antiq. 1. 14. c. 8. §. i, 2, 3. which he also very grate- 


procurator of Judaea to Caesar ^. There were many 
laws made by the Romans, allowing of appeals from 
inferior magistrates ^, and particularly from the go- 
vernors of provinces. The emperor Augustus ap- 
pointed certain persons of consular dignity to hear 
such appeals ^. 

It is added, that upon this appeal Festus con- 
sulted with the council'''. That the governors of 
provinces had a certain number of persons with 
them, which they were obliged to consult and ad- 
vise with, and particularly in matters of judicature, 

fully acknowledges. Ibid. c. lo. §. 2. 7. The like they did by 
Mark Antony. Ibid. c. 15. §. 8. Can it be supposed that many 
of them did not at that time, either by merit or favour, procure 
the freedom of the city of Rome ? or was it Antipater alone who 
had that honour conferred on hini ? Ibid. c. 8. §. 3. By money, 
as we have already seen. Hence probably it is we read of so 
many Jews free of the city of Rome who dwelt in Greece and 
Asia. Ibid, c, 10. §. 13. 14. 16 — 19. By being freed from ser- 
vitude : that very great numbers became citizens this way through 
the covetousness or vainglory of their masters, as well as from 
their own merit, vid. Dionys. Halic. Ant. Rom. 1. 4. c. 24. Suet. 
Aug. c. 42. n. 3. That multitudes of the Jews in particular be- 
came free this way, appears from that Tiberius enlisted four thou- 
sand freed Jews at one time, and sent them to Sardinia. Compare 
Suet. Tib. c. 36. n. 2. Tac. Ann. 1. 2. c. 85. n. 4. Jos. Antiq. 
1. 18. c. 3. §. 5. 

'' Acts XXV. II. 25. and xxvi. 32. 

^ Alex, ab Alex. 1. 4. c. 6. 1. 49. tit. i — 5. Dig. Grot., in loc. 
Wolf. Cur. in loc. 

^ Appellationes quotannis urbanorum quidem litigatorum prae- 
tori delegavit urbano -. at provincialium consularibus viris, quos 
singulos cujusque provinciae negotiis praeposuisset. Aug. c. 33. 4. 
Vid. Pitisci Not. ibi, n. 14, 15. 

d Ch. XXV. 12. 


is abundantly evident from Tully^ Josephus/, Dio&, 
and Philo Judaeus '\ 

St. Paul was after this sent with other prisoners 
to Rome'. It was a usual thing to send persons 
from the provinces to be tried at Rome, as we learn 
from Suetonius ^, Josephus ^ Pliny "^, and other au- 

When they were arrived at Rome, it is said, the 
centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of 
the guard^ : hut Paul was suffered to dwell by 

* Honestos homines, qui causam uorint, ableget, a concilioque 
dimittat? In Ver. 1. 2. 32. (79.) Illud negabis, te concilio tuo 
dimisso, viris primariis, qui in concilio C, Sacerdotis fuerant, tibi- 
que esse solebant, reniotis, de re judicata judicasse ? teque eum, 
quem C. Sacerdos, adhibito concilio, causa cognita, absolvisset ; 
eundem remoto concilio, causa incognita, condemnasse ? Ibid. 33. 
(81.) Servos, quos ipse cum concilio, belli faciendi causa consen- 
sisse judicavit, eos sine concilii sententia, suas ponte, omni sup- 
plicio liberavit, 1. 5. 8. (18.) Crimen sine accusatore, sententia 
sine concilio, damnatio sine defensione. Ibid. 9. (23.) 

*" Antiq. 1. 20. c. 4. §. 4. et de Bell. 1. 2. c. 16. §. i. 

S Tovi Se S^ Ttapthpovt; avroi iavzw e/cao-To? alptTrai, eva fxlv ol ta-TpaTfj- 
yviKOTei;, Koi eK tZv o[a.oioiv (Tfpia-tv, ij kou tuv lisobuc^-lpuy rpf7(; 8e, ot 
imocTevKoreq, Ik ruu o(A.OTijAuv, oik; av ko) avroKparup hoKtfji.cca-i^. I. 33. 
p. 505, fin. Doubtless vj stands not here for or, but for eight. 
The pro-praetor chose one of praetorian, and eight of inferior dig- 
nity. The proconsul, three of consular, and I suppose also eight 
or more of a lower rank. 

^ Leg. ad Caium, p. 1027, B. fin. Vid. Grot, in Matt, xxvii. 19. 

' Acts xxvii. I. ^ Aug. c. 33. 4. 

' 'lepui Tiva?, KoKohq K^yaOovi;, bta i^iKpacv Koi t>jv ■rv)(fiv<7a.v ahtav 8^- 
a-ai; iU rrjv 'Pu[ji.-/jv (itei^ypev, Xoyov iKpf^ovTai; tS Kaia-apt. Vit. §. 3. An- 
tiq. 1. 20. c. 5. §. 2. de Bell. 1. 2. c. 5. §. 3. et 12. §. 6. et c. 13. 

""' L. 10. ep. 97. 

" Ty aTparoTTthapyj^, very properly translated captain of the guard, 
or prcefecto prcetorio ; for there was but one camp in the city of 


himself with a soldier that kept him''. That it was 
usual for prisoners to be put under the care of the 
prcefectus jyrcBtorio, or captain of the guard, is evi- 
dent from Tacitus P, Joseph us % and Pliny ^ And 
though they were ordinarily confined in the praeto- 
rian camp, yet that such as were esteemed less 
guilty were sometimes favoured so far as to be per- 
mitted to dwell in their own houses with a soldier 
chained to them, appears from Josephus ^. And 
this I take to be that which in the Roman law is 
called Aperta, et libera, et in usum hominum insti- 
tiita custodia militaris ^ 

It is said, Acts xxii. 30. of Lysias the command- 
ing officer at Jerusalem, who in the absence of the 
procurator supplied his room, and acted as such, 
€KeX€v<rev eXOeiv Tovg ap')(^iepe7i Kai okov to avve^piov avTwv. 
In like manner Josephus, de Bell. 1. 2. c. 15. §. 6. 
says of Gessius Florus the procurator, ixeraTreixxpafxevog 
Tovg re ap')(^i€peig Kat t>jv /SovXyjv. 

Rome, and that was of the preetorian soldiers. Vid. Tac. Ann. 
1. 4. 2. Suet. Tib. 37. 2. Vid. Not. Pitisci ad Aug. 49. 4. n. 12. 

° Acts xxviii. 1 6. p Cit. Grot, in loc. 

'1 Antiq. 1. 18. c. 6. (Hud. 7.) §. 6. compared with Suet. Cai. 
c. 12. 3. Dio, 1. 58. p. 626, C. Agrippa was ordered into the 
custody of Macro prcefectus prcetorio by Tiberius, and we read that 
many were under the same confinement, Jos. ibid. §. 7. and that 
the place of their imprisonment was the camp. For when Agrippa 
was ordered to a more easy confinement at his own house, it is 
said, iK ToS a-Tparoitehov fA.eTaa-T'^a-eiv €j? tyjv oIkiocv. Ibid. §. lO. 

>■ L. 10. ep. 65. * Ubi supra. ' L. 2. C. de Exact. Trib. 


A?i account of the places referred to. 

I PROCEED now to the fourth thing, which is 
to treat of the places mentioned. The History of 
the Acts takes in a large extent of ground, speaking 
not only of several countries in general, but of many 
cities and places in particular, the situations and 
distances of which are also sometimes accidentally 
hinted. And I will venture to affirm, that the more 
thoroughly and curiously we examine these, and the 
more strictly we compare them with the accounts 
given us by the ancient geographers and historians, 
the more fully shall we find them confirmed. Strabo, 
a learned philosopher, who lived in the reigns of the 
emperors Augustus and Tiberius, and travelled into 
most parts of the world, that he might with the 
greater accuracy describe the situation of countries 
and cities, wrote a geography in seventeen books. 
These he finished about thirty years before the Acts 
of the Apostles were wrote, and almost every place 
mentioned in the History of the Acts is spoken of 
by him, and described in exact agreement there- 

f. 1. It is said that Paul and Barnabas departed 
from Antioch unto Seleucia, and sailed thence to 
Cyprus =*. Strabo tells us, that Seleucia was a city 
in Syria, situate upon the seacoast, about fifteen 
miles from Antioch, and five from the mouth of the 
river Orontes ^. 

" Ch. xiii.4. '' L. 16. p. 751. A. D. 


It is also said that they preached at Salamis, and 
went through the island unto Paphos "". Salamis is 
accordingly placed by Strabo at the east end of Cy- 
prus '^j and Paphos at the west end ^. 

It is added, they loosed from Paphos, and came 
to Perga in Pamphylia ^ : and, agreeably hereto, 
Strabo informs us that Paphos had a port ^ ; that 
Perga was a city in Pamphylia, situate upon the 
river Cestrus ; and that it is sixty furlongs sailing 
up the river to the city ^. 

It is further said, that they departed from Perga 
to Antioch in Pisidia ', and went afterwards to Ico- 
nium'% and thence to Lystra and Derbe, cities of 
Lycaonia ^ Pisidia is described by Strabo as bor- 
dering upon Pamphylia ■", and Lycaonia as adjoin- 
ing to Pisidia ". He mentions Antioch as a city in 
Pisidia ^, Iconium as a city in Lycaonia i', and Derbe 
as a city in the borders of Isauria'i, which Isauria 
he also expressly says is in Lycaonia '. He makes no 
mention indeed of Lystra ; but Pliny, who wrote a 
very few years after him, does ''. And Hierocles the 

^ Ch. xiii. 5, 6. J L. 14. p. 682, B. C. D. ^P. 68i,f5n. 
683, C. D. <" Ch. xiii. 13. e p. 683, C. '' L. 14. 

p. 667, C. ' Ver. 14. ^ Ver. 51. ' Ch. xiv. 20, 21. 

"' L. 12. p. 569, fin. 570, pr. " P. 568. and 569. 

° P. 569, B. and 577, A. p P. 568, C. <i P. 569, A. 

' P. 568, D. 

^ L. 5. §. 42. Lystreni. It is true be places them in Galatia; 
but Cellarius has clearly proved that be brings down Galatia too 
far southward. Vid. Not. Orb. Antiq. vol. 2. 1. 3. c. 4. p. iii. 
115. 122. Pliny says, Atlingit Galatia — Lycaonise partem obi- 
genem. And though, §. 42, he places the Thebaseni in Galatia, 
yet, §. 25, he says, Ipsius Lycaonise celebrantur Thebasa in Tauro. 
Hyde, In confinio Galatioe. He seems to me to have no clear 
notion of the bounds of these two countries, and so it appeared 


grammarian, in his Synecdemus, places it in Lycao- 
nia ; and in the Notitia Episcopatuum it is taken 
notice of as a bishop's see *. 

In their return, it is said, they passed through 
Pisidia to Pamphylia, and, having preached at Per- 
ga, went down to Attalia, and thence sailed to An- 
tioch in Syria, from whence they set out ". Attalia 
is accordingly described by Strabo as a city of Pam- 
phylia, situate upon the seacoast ^ ; and Antioch, the 
metropolis of Syria, as seated upon the river Orontes, 
to which a person might sail up the river from the 
seacoast in a day's time y. 

\. 2. St. Paul set out a second time from Antioch, 
in company with Silas, and went through Syria and 
Cilicia to Derbe in Lycaonia ^. Strabo tells us, that 
Syria was bounded in the north by Cilicia Cam- 
pestris ^ ; (for Cilicia was divided into two parts, the 
one called Aspera, the other Campestris ;) and that 
Cilicia Aspera, the part which was most remote 
from Syria, bordered upon Lycaonia^. 

It is added in the History of the Acts, N^oiv ivhen 
tliey had gone throughout Phrygia, and the I'e- 
gions of Galatia, and ivere forbidden to preach in 
Asia, after they were come to My si a, they essayed 
to go into Bithynia"^. In agreement herewith, 
Strabo describes Lycaonia, Phrygia, Galatia, Mysia, 

to Father Harduin, as you may see by his notes on the places I 
have quoted. 

' Vid. Cellar. Not. vol. 2. 1. 3. c. 4. p. 122. 

" Ch. xiv. 24, 25. ^ L. 14. p. 666, D. et 667. 

> L. t6. p. 750, B. 75 [, A. ^ Ch. XV. 41. and xvi. i. 

a L. 16. p. 749, A. B. et 1. 14. p. 676, C. D. 

^ L. 14. p. 668, A. B. 1. 12. p. 568, C. D. et p. 537, C. 

= Ch. xvi. 6, 7. 


and Bithynia, as countries bordering one upon an- 
other 'i. He also makes mention of Asia properly 
so called ^ : and Catullus the poet expressly distin- 
guishes it from Phrygian And a Scholiast upon 
Apollonius Rhodius says that Lydia was formerly 
called Asias, 

It is further added, And they, 2^assing hy 3Iysia, 
came down to Troas, and loosing from Troas, came 
with a strait course to Samothracia, and the next 
day to NeapoUs ; and thence to Philippi, ivhich is 
the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a 
colony '^. That Phrygia, Mysia, and the country of 
Troas, bordered upon each other, is easily learnt 
from Strabo ' ; as also tliat the city of Troas, at one 
time called Antigonia, afterwards Alexandria and 
Alexandria Troas, was situate upon the seacoast^. 
That Samothracia was an island over against the 
confines of Thrace bordering upon Macedonia I That 
Neapolis bounded the Strymonic bay on the north 

''L. 12. p. 566, C. 

^ L. T2. p. 577, C. 1. 13. p. 627, D. compared with p. 625, D. 
620, D. 

f Epig. 46. Linquantur Phrygil, &c. Ad claras Asiae volemus 

g Vid. Spanheim. de Usu et Prsest. Numism. t. i. p. 621. 622. 
This Strabo also says, ubi supra. 

'' Ch. xvi. 8. ] I. 12. 

' Compare together, 1. 12. p. 574, B. et 576, C. et 1. 13. p. 581. 
583. 613, D. jEolis proxima est, quondam Mysia appellata, et 
quae Hellesponto adjacet, Troas. Pl'm. 1. 5. §. 32. 

•^ L. 13. p. 581, C. 593, D. et 604, B. Troadis primus locus 
Hamantius, dein Cebrenia, ipsaque Troas, Antigonia dicta, nunc 
Alexandria, Plin. 1. 5. §• 33. It is called Troas without any ad- 
dition, 1. 7. ff. de Cens. et 1. 8. §. 9. ff. eod. et in nummo Cara- 
callae. Col. Aug. Troas. Vid. Not. Hard, in Plin. loc. prox. cit. 

'L. 2. p. 124, B. 1. I. p. 28, B. 1. 7. p. 331, B. 


side "^ ; placed also by Pliny, Dio, and Ptolemy on 
the seacoast"; and in the Itinerarium of Antoni- 
nus said to be twelve miles distant from Philippi ". 
And that Philippi, (called by the epitomiser Datum) 
was a city in Macedonia, and had docks for the 
building of ships p. And Appian expressly informs 
us, that they navigated ships up to the city. 

"" L. 7. p. 330, fin. 

" A meridie ^Egeum mare, cujiis in ora a Strynione Apollonia, 
Ocsyma, Neapolis. Plhi. 1. 4. §. 18. p. 439. Dio, 1. 47. p. 348, A. 

351". c. 

° Vid. Cellar. Not. vol. i. 1. 2. c. 13. p. 676. 

P The words of the epitomiser are these : YA<jh l\ itep) tov Irpv- _ 

fAOViKOV KoAirov TCoXei(; kou crepar olov MvpKivot;, 'Apylkot;, ^pa^ta-KOi;, Adrov, 
oirep Kol aptffTfiv e^e* yjipav, Koi evKO.p'nov, Kol yccvnyjyia, Koi y^^pvaov /xe- 
TaXXa* d(fj' ov Ka\ T[apot[ji.lqi AaTOV dyadlv, wi; Ka) ayadZv ayaOihei;' ot» 
'KXeTa-Ta fA^zaXKa. ecTT* y^pvomi iv Ta7<; Kprjvlcnv, oirov vvv 01 ^'iKncnoi izoMi; 
'ilpvrai ; and a little after, "Ort -^ vZv ^PiXuntu ttoAk K^vjv/Se? tKaKovvTo 
TO ttccXcciw. L. 7. p. 331. The reason why I say that Philippi is 
the Datum here described are the words of Appian, who assures 
us it was first called Crenides, and then Datus : Oi Se ^iKfmtot 
TtoKiq effTJV, vj AaToj ccvoj/.di'i^ero •nd.Kat, Kai Vt.p'^viht(; en itpo AaTov* Kprjvai 
yap £j(7* Trepj to? Xo'f/jco vccf^drcov "KoKXaL De Bell. Civ. 1. 4. p. 650, A. 
The description also exactly agrees. Appian tells us, on the north 
side was a very large wood, which, it is probable, supplied them 
with timber for the building of ships : 'Ek §€ t^? hvaeuf, rcth'ov f^e%pi 
MovpKivov T€, Ka) Apa^l<TKOV, Ka) TTOTaixoZ ^Tpv/xcvoi, rpiocKoa-MV iron Koi 
tttvr-^KOVTa arahiuv, tScpopov itdw Ka) KaXov. And a little before, TIpo? 
Ze tJi iA.i(Tfij/.^pi<^ eXo? iai), Ka) OdXaa-ara /xer' uvto ; and towards the 
bottom of the page, "EXij Ka) Xijj.vat [A-expt toZ 'S.Tpv^woi. The lake, 
which came up to the city, was a proper place for their docks. 
Whether they had a passage from the sea into this lake, or from 
the river Strymon, or sailed up the river Ganga or Gangites, men- 
tioned also by Appian, is not so clear ; but that they navigated 
up to the city of Phili])pi is certain ; for Appian tells us that Tul- 
lius Cimber put into Philippi with a navy carrying a legion and 
other soldiers : 0» 8e dy.(p) tov BpoZrov eV jtapaXoyov riXfAtii ii iiX'iit- 
itovi Ttap^X6ov, tvBa ainciii; Koi TiiXXio^ iitiKaTfixBtj, Ka) ttS? a-rpaTOi 


It is our misfortune, that in the description of 
Macedonia we have not Strabo's own work, but 
only an imperfect abstract. I am persuaded, the 
other particulars here mentioned were not omitted 
by Strabo, however they came to be left out by his 
abbreviator. That Philippi was a colony we are 
assured by Pliny *i. And the same thing is fully 
evident from coins, and other monuments of anti- 
quity ''. Livy informs us that L. ^milius Paulus, 
having overcome and taken Perseus the king, di- 
vided Macedonia into four parts, naming them the 
first, second, third, and fourths Philippi was si- 
tuate in that which was called the first part : and 
several learned men * understand St. Luke to mean 
no more here, than that Philippi was a city of the 
first part of Macedonia, which, by a very small alter- 
ation of one of his words, as they at present stand, 
he is made to say ". The reason is, because Livy 
tells us, that iErmilius Paulus appointed Amphipolis 
to be the capital city of the first part of Macedonia. 
But I cannot think that there is any need of mak- 
ing even so small an alteration in the words of St. 
Luke. For what is there more liable to change 
than the state of cities ? Amphipolis, it is true, was 
the chief city of the first part of Macedonia when 

a-vveX-qXvQei. Vid. p. 648. 61650, A. It is true, other authors place 
Datus ditFerently, and Dio makes even Crenides a place distinct 
from Philippi, 1. 47. p. 348, A. It is not an easy task always to 
reconcile historians and geographers. 

'1 Intus Philippi colonia, 1. 4. §. 18. p. 439. 

I" Vid. Cell. Not. vol. i. 1. 2. c. 13. p. 676. " L. 45. c. 29. 

t Vid. Pierce, in his Preface to the Notes on the Epistle to the 

" UpuTvjt; instead of irpwr/;, or of izpuT/j rJj^, 


conquered by -^milius; but can it be hence con- 
cluded that it was so two hundred years after ? It 
was so remarkably sunk and decayed some ages 
after this, that in an ancient Notitia Ecdesiastica 
it is thrust down to the twenty-second place even 
of Macedonia Prima ''. It is evident, from coins now 
extant, that a Roman colony was planted at Philippi 
first by Julius Caesar, and afterwards renewed by 
Augustus y. And the great Spanheim observes, that 
it was a part of the Roman policy that their colonies 
should be the metropoles or chief cities of the coun- 
tries in which they were placed. It is highly pro- 
bable therefore, that either Philippi was become a 
larger and more populous city than Amphipolis be- 
fore the colony was fixed there, or that by planting 
the colony there it became such, and was thence- 
forth esteemed the chief city of that part of Mace- 
donia. This is certain, that Strabo, who wrote in 
the times of Augustus and Tiberius, if we may de- 
pend upon the faithfulness of his abbreviator, takes 
not the least notice of Amphipolis, though he men- 
tions Philippi more than once. Had Amphipolis 
been the capital city of this part of Macedonia in 
his time, could he have been guilty of such a neg- 
lect ? He mentions other cities in this part : would 
he omit the capital ? It is possible therefore, that 
v even in Strabo's time Amphipolis was sunk beneath 
his notice ^. 

" Vid. Spanheim. de Usu et Praest. Num. Diss. 9. p. 652, pr. 

> Id. Diss. 2. p. 105, 10^ 

^ It may be objected, that upon the coins of the city of Phi- 
lippi there is no evidence of its being tlie metropolis, as there is 
upon the coins of other colonies which were so. Nor is there 
any evidence of this kind upon the coins of Amphipolis, 0eoi; 


From Philippi St. Paul and his companions passed 
through Amphipolis and ApoUonia to Thessalonica, 
and went thence to Beroea ". Apollonia ^, Thessa- 
lonica S and Bercea ^, are all mentioned by Strabo as 
cities in Macedonia. Amphipolis, as I observed be- 
fore, is not taken notice of by him, at least not by 
his epitomiser. This city however is spoken of by 
Herodotus ^, Thucydides ^, and Scylax s the geogra- 
pher, who all lived before Strabo ; by Livy '', his con- 
temporary, and Pliny i, who flourished soon after 
him. It is also mentioned in the It'merarium Anto- 
nini ; and, comparing that Itlnerarium with what 
Strabo has said of the Via Egnatia*^, (a Roman 
causey or highway made from the seacoast opposite 
to Italy quite through Macedonia to the river He- 
brus, and afterwards to Constantinople,) it seems 
highly probable that that way lay through five of 
the cities we have been speaking of, i. e. from Pella 
to Thessalonica, thence to Apollonia, thence to Am- 
phipolis, thence to Philippi, and thence to Neapolis. 

From Beroea St. Paul was conducted to Athens, 
and went thence to Corinth ^ These are cities of 
so great fame in antiquity, that it is almost needless 
to observe that Strabo makes mention of both'", and 

Kouaaf 'Ea^a.aToi;, and Oil the reverse, 'A^a^jTroXtT. Vid. Spanh. de 
Usu et Praest. Num. Quarto, p. 416. et Hard. Not. in Plin. 1. 4. 
§. 17. p. 436. n. 14. 

^ Acts xvii. I. 10. ^ L. 7. p. 33 T, B. col. i. 

^ P. 330, A. col. 2. ^ P. 330, B. col. 2. ^ L. 7. c. 1 14. 

•^ L. I. p. 66. et 1. 4, p. 320. g TlepinXovi;. 

'• L. 44. c. 45. et 1. 45. c. 29. 

' L. 4. §. 17. p. 436, fin. V^id, Cell. Not. vol. 1. p. 675. 

^ L. 7. p. 322, D. 323, A. B. C. D. et 329, D. col. 2. 

' Acts xvii. 15. and xviii. i. 

"' L. 9. p. 395, &c. 1. 8. p. 378, pr. 

z 2 


tells us, that although Corinth was destroyed by the 
Romans under Lucius Mummius, it was restored by 
Julius Caesar ". It is said that St. Paul sailed from 
Corinth into Syria, having shorn his head at Cen- 
chrea ; that he put in by the way at Ephesus, and 
sailed thence to Caesarea ". Strabo informs us that 
Corinth had two ports, one towards Italy, and the 
other towards Asia ; that Cenchrea was the port 
Av hich was towards Asia i- ; that Ephesus had a port, 
and was seated in the peninsular Asia ^ ; and that 
Stratonis Turris, which was the ancient name of 
Caesarea, was in Syria, and had a station for ships ^. 

§. 3. St. Paul set out a third time from Antioch, 
and, having travelled over all tlie countries of Ga- 
latia and Phrygia, came to Ephesus, and continued 
disputing there in the school of Tyrannus by the 
space of two years, so that all they which dwelt in 
Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus ^. It ap- 
pears evident from Strabo, that a certain district 
round Ephesus went by the name of Asia properly 
so called ^ 

St. Paul went from Ephesus to IMacedonia, thence 
to Greece, and through fear of the Jews returned 
again to Macedonia, set sail from Philippi, and came 
to Troas in five days. His companions took ship 
liere, and sailed to Assos ; but he went thither on 
foot. From Assos, having taken him on board, they 
sailed to Mitylene ". That a ship might easily sail 
from Philippi to Troas in five days, may be collected 

" P. 379. pr. el 381. " Ch. xviii. 18. 19. 22. 

p L. 8. p. 378, pr. et 380, pr. 1 L. 14. j). 641, C. fin. 

■■ L. 16. p. 758, D. Vid. Joseph, .\ntiq. 1. 15. c. 9. §. 6. 

' Ch. xviii. 22. t L. T2. p. 577, C 

" Acts XX. I. 2. 3. 6. 13. 14. 


without difficulty from what Strabo has laid down "". 
He also informs us that Assos was a seaport, and 
places it not far from Troas > ; and that Mitylene 
was a large city in the isle of Lesbos, having two 
ports, the one north, the other south ; that from the 
seacoast, which lies between Assos and Polymedium, 
upon the continent, to Methymna in Lesbos, was but 
sixty furlongs "". 

Paul and his companions sailed from Mitylene, 
and the next day came over against Chios, and the 
next day arrived at Samos, and tarried at Trogyl- 
lium, and the next day came to Miletus''. From 
the island of Chios to the isle of Lesbos, Strabo tells 
us, is four hundred furlongs'', which make not quite 
forty-six of our statute miles. Samos, he informs 
us, is an island opposite to Panionium and Ephe- 
sus<^. He does not give us the distance between 
that and Chios ; but, if we may make a conjecture 
from the measurement he gives us upon the conti- 
nent from Ephesus to Teos '', the distance is not 
quite so great as it is from Chios to Lesbos. The 
same author says that Trogyllium is the name both 
of a promontory upon the Continent, and of an island 
that lies before the promontory, and that from Sa- 
mos to Trogyllium are but forty furlongs*^, i, e. 
something more than four miles and a half of our 
measure. It is probable the apostle and his com- 
panions put in at Samos, but chose to lodge at Tro- 

" L. 2. p. 124, C. et 1. 10. p. 457, D. Horn, ibi cit. 
y L. 13. p. 581, CD. p. 610, B. C. 
^ L. 13. p. 616, fin. 617, A. B. ^ Ch. xx. 15. 

^ L. 14. p. 645, D. "^ L. 14. p. 639, B. C. 

•^ L. 14. p. 643, C. D. •-' L. 14. p. 636, C. D. 

z 3 


It is added, Aiicl the next day came to Miletus ; 
whence St. Paul sent for the elders of the church of 
Ephesus, who came to him there ^. Strabo places 
Miletus not far from Trogyllium, and says it had 
four havens ^. He gives us the distance from Mile- 
tus to the mouth of the river Mseander ^ but not 
from the Maeander to Ephesus. From Magnesia, 
which stood near the Mseander, to Ephesus, he 
makes a hundred and twenty furlongs '. And I am 
apt to think the common road from Miletus to 
Ephesus lay through Magnesia ; for from Pyrrha to 
the mouth of the Mseander he says was fens and 
bogs ^. And the public road from Physcus to Ephe- 
sus he describes as going through Tralles and Mag- 
nesia'. The distance therefore from Ephesus to 
Miletus, upon the common road, I should conjecture 
to be about thirty Roman, or near twenty-eight of 
our statute miles. 

The sacred historian proceeds and says, After we 
had launched^ that is, from Miletus, we came with 
a strait course unto Coos, and the day following 
unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara^. 
Coos, Strabo tells us, is an island over against Ter- 
merium, a promontory of the Myndians, and not far 
from Cnidus, Ceramus, and Halicarnassus, cities in 
Caria ". He places Rhodes near the turning of the 
continent, where the shore runs to the north, whence 
the strait course to the Propontis is by keeping in 

f Ch. XX. 15. 17. s L. 14. 634, D. 635, A. 

'' L. 14. p. 636, A. B. From Miletus to Pyrrha thirty furlongs, 
thence to the mouth of the Mteander fifty. 

' L. 14. p. 663, B. et 636, C. ' ^ P. 636, B. 

' L. J4. p. 663, A. B. ^ Ch. xxi. x. 

" L. 14. p. 656, A. B, et 657, B. 


the same meridian ". From the few places he men- 
tions on the continent between Coos and Rhodes, or 
rather, I should say, between the places on the shore 
opposite to these two islands, we may reasonably 
conclude that they were not so far distant, but per- 
sons might easily sail from the one to the other in a 
day's time. Patara he describes to be a considerable 
city of Lycia on the east side of the river Xanthus, 
having a port for ships ''. And whoever will be at 
the pains of observing Strabo's method in describing 
these places, will easily see that Coos, Rhodes, and 
Patara lay in the way from Miletus to Syria*!. 

It is added by the sacred historian, And finding 
a ship at Patara sailing unto Phoenicia, tve went 
on hoard. Now when we had discovered Cyprus, 
we left it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria, 
and landed at Tyre "". That the island of Cyprus 
lay between Patara and Syria, any one Avho will 
compare together the descriptions which Strabo has 
given us of Lycia, Cyprus, and Syria will presently 
learn ^. The same learned author makes Phoenicia 
a part of Syria ^ and places Tyre in Phoenicia. This 
having been a maritime town of so great fame in 
the world, I think I need not add that he says it 
had two ports ". 

The sacred historian further says, A^id when we 
had take7i our leave of the hrethi'en of Tyre, we 
took ship, and came to Ptolemais, and the next day 
to Ceesarea ^. Ptolemais, formerly called Ace, is ac- 
cordingly described by Strabo as a large city on the 

° P. 655, D. pp. 666, A. '! Vid. p. 664, A. B. 

^ Ch. xxi. 2, 3. ^ L. 14. p. 664, A. p. 681, D. 1. 16. p. 749. 
t L. 16. p. 749, B. " P. 756, C. et 757, A. 

>< Ch. xxi. 6, 7, 8. 

z 4 


seacoast of Phoenicia, south of Tyre y, between Tyre 
and Caesarea, formerly named Stratonis Turris ^. 

J. 4. In the account of St. Paul's voyage to Rome 
it is said. They entered into a sh'q) of Adramyt- 
tium, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia ^ Adra- 
myttium is said by Strabo to be a considerable city, 
having both a port and station for sliips ^', situate in 
Troas, -^olis, or Mysia. For these three countries, 
laying in the north-west part of the peninsular Asia, 
he plainly proves were blended together by ancient 
writers ^ 

It is added by the sacred historian. And the next 
day we touched at Sidon '^. Sidon, Strabo informs 
us, was a city and port of great antiquity, much ce- 
lebrated by the ancients, and very famous in his own 
times, situate in Phoenicia, north of Tyre, and that 
the distance between Sidon and Tyre was not more 
than two hundred furlongs ^. He has not indeed 
told us the distance from Tyre to Caesarea. The 
Peutingerian Tahle makes it sixty Roman miles ^ 
The Itinerarium Hierosolymitanum makes it sixty- 
three ^ ; the Itinerarium Anfonini, seventy-six ^. 
The whole distance from Ca?sarea to Sidon, accord- 
ing to Ptolemy, is but one degree \ But if we take 
it according to the largest computation, viz. that of 
the Itinerarium Antonini, the whole distance is little 

>' L. 16. p. 758, A. ' Ibid. D. ^ Ch. xxvii. i. 

^ L. 13. p. 606, fin. et 614, A. B. 

= L. 13. p. 583, A. p. 586, D. 1. 12. p. 564, B. 565, C. 571. 
C. D. &c. 1. J 3. p. 613, D. ^1 Ch. xxvii. 3. 

*= L. 16. p. 756, C. p. 757, C. D. 
f Vid. Rel. Pal. 1.2. c. 4. p. 421. 
s Reland. I'alaest. 1. 2. c. 4. p. 416, 417. 
'' Ibid. p. 418. ' Il)id. c. 10, p. 457. 460. 465. 


more than thirty leagues, or about ninety-one and a 
half of our statute miles. If Strabo informs us right, 
the ancients would sail much further than this in 
the space of twenty-four hours. He tells us, that 
from Sammonium to Egypt was four days and four 
nights sailing, computed at five thousand furlongs ^, 
i. e. five hundred and seventy-three of our statute 
miles. To sail this distance in four days and four 
nights, they must sail each twenty-four hours a 
hundred and forty -three of our statute miles, which 
is about six miles an hour. Herodotus confirms the 
same thing, telling us, a ship would sail in twenty- 
four hours one thousand three hundred furlongs^, 
i. e. very near a hundred and forty-nme of our sta- 
tute miles. Aristides says, that with a fair wind a 
shi[) would easily make one thousand two hundred 
furlongs "\ i. e. a hundred and thirty-seven one- 
third of our miles ; and Polybius denies that they 
could sail two thousand furlongs in a day ". 

The historian proceeds. And when we had 
launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, he- 
cause the winds were contrary \ and when we had 
sailed over the sea ofCiUcia and Pamphylia, we 
came to Myra, a city of Lycia°. They sailed be- 
tween Cyprus and Cilicia, and then along the Pam- 
phylian coast to Lycia. And that these countries 
are thus situated may be easily seen from Strabo's 
description of them p, who will also teach us that 

" L. lo. p. 475, C. ' Melpom. 

■" Vid. Casaub. not. in lib. i. p. 35. Strab. p. 23. col. i. 
" Cit. Strab. 1. i. p. 25, D. Vid. Casaub. not. p. 17. col. 1, D. 
et col. 2, A. ° Ch. xxvii. 4, 5. p L. 14. p. 681, D. 


Myra was in Lycia, seated upon a high hill about 
twenty furlongs from the sea i. 

The sacred historian further says, And there the 
centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into 
Italy ; and he put us therein. And when we had 
sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come 
oner against Cnidus^. Alexandria was the metro- 
polis of Egypt, between which and Italy was carried 
on a very great commerce, so that there were ships 
frequently passing from the one to the other, which 
is particularly taken notice of by Strabo ^ We have 
already observed from the same learned author, that 
Cnidus is a city in Caria nearly opposite to the 
island of Coos. In a former voyage the apostle 
seems to have sailed from Coos to Patara, a city of 
Lycia, further east than Myra, in two days. They 
were now many days at sea, and made less way. 

It is added, the wind not suffering us, we sailed 
under Crete, over against Salmone *. The wind 
not permitting them to bear out to sea, they sailed 
close by the Cretan shore, near to the eastern end of 
it, called by Strabo Samonium ", by Pliny Sammo- 
7iium ^, with two m's ; by Dionysius, Salmonis y, 
with an /, as in the History of the Acts ; and it is 
called Ca2yo Salomon at this day '"■. 

It is further added, a7id, hardly passing hy it, 
came to a place which is called the Fair Havens, 
nigh ivhereunto was the city of Lasea ^. There is 
no mention of these places in Strabo. Stephanus 

1 L. 14. p. 666, A. ■" Ch. xxvii. 6, 7. ^ L. 1 7. p. 793, A. 

' Ch, xxvii. 7. " L. 10. p. 474, D. * L. 4. §. 20, 
> Ver. 1 10. ''■ Vid, Hard. not. in Plin. 1. 4. §. 20. n. 7. et 

Cell. Not. Orb. Ant. vol. i. 1. 2. c. 14. p. 8i8. " Ch. xxvii. 8. 


has a name near akin to the former. He tells us 
that KaAv? 'Aktv], i. e. the Fair Shore, was a city in 
Crete ^ ; but he does not say in which part of the 
island it lay, and it is impossible for us to determine 
whether it were the same place which St. Luke calls 
the Fair Havens. This is the first place we have 
met with that we have not abundant authorities for 
from other authors : and considering how few of the 
ancient writers are come down to us, it is much 
more to be admired that we have not found many 
such, than that we have met with this one. Dio- 
dorus Siculus the historian names two cities in Crete 
that are found in no other historian or geographer *=. 
Polybius does the same '^. And even in that very 
succinct account of affairs given us by Velleius Pa- 
terculus is mentioned a city in Crete taken notice of 
by no other writer*^. This is more common among 
the geographers. Scylax speaks of three ^, Pliny 
four ^, Ptolemy four '\ and Stephanus twenty-seven 
cities •, the names of which are in no other authors 
now extant. 

There were not a few who anciently wrote the 
history and geography of Crete ^. Had they been 
preserved we should have had a much more distinct 
and full account of the several parts of that island 

'' De Urbibus. '^ Coeno et Tripodus. Vid. Meiirsii Creta. 

^ Orii, 1. 4. p. 319, C. This indeed Meursius takes to be Ole- 
rii, and that very probably, Diatonium. Excerpt. Legat. c, 45. 

^ Mycenie, cap. 1 . p. i . 

f Baucas, Ormisda, Pan. Vid. Meiirsii Creta. 

s Clatos, Elaea, Lasos, Pylorus. Harduin, it is true, by his 
emendations, has reduced these to one, which is Lasos, 1. 4. §.20. 

^' Innacherium, Pannona, Poecilasium, Rhamnus. Vid. Meursii 
Creta. ' Apea, Alba, Alloria, Anopolis, Aulon, Axus, Bien- 

nus, &c. Vid. Meur. Creta. ^ Vid. Meur. Cret. cap. i. 


than we now have. Doubtless there were many- 
places in it which are not taken notice of by any of 
the geographers or historians that are come down to 
us. It is well known that Crete was very early in- 
habited ; and having the happiness of good laws 
and excellent governors, it soon became a most po- 
pulous, potent, and flourishing island, and most of 
the Grecian states received their polity and laws 
from thence ^ It is called by Homer cAraTo/ATroA/^ "^, 
as having a hundred cities in his time : and those 
hundred cities, we are told, were particularly named 
by Xenion, in his History of Crete". Many of these 
cities were in ruins long before the Acts of the Apo- 
stles was wrote. Strabo is so very brief in his ac- 
count of the island, that I think he mentions but 
fourteen or fifteen of the cities which were standing, 
and five only of those which were destroyed. I am 
apt to think that not a few of those which are 
named ])y the other geographers were of the number 
of the destroyed. Of this sort most evidently was 
the city Lasea, spoken of by St. Luke : for after he 
had mentioned the Fair Havens, he adds, nigh 
wliereunto was the city of Lasea, rjv iroXig Aaaaia, 
the very phrase made use of by Strabo with regard 
to Phaestus, one of the ancient cities of Crete, which 
was destroyed, dug up, and turned into fields by the 
Gortynians °. It is not very improbable that the 
Lasos mentioned by Pliny might be the Lasea of 

' Vid. Shuckford's Connect, vol. 3. "' Iliad. 1. 2. v. 156. 

" Tzetzes in Lycoph. cit. Meur. cap. i. p. 2. 

" L. 10. p. 479, C. «I>a(aTO(; Se ^v wjtt,. Vid. et 1. 13. p, 6l2. 'A/x- 
^izffioi 8' rjuav, spoken of Lyrnessus and Thebes, A. fin. 'H xpvau 
1JV. C. fin. 'Ei/TctvOa, 8e '<ji/ koI to Upov toE 2/>ij>6e«4 'A-nokKuvot; ko.) ij Xpv- 
(TTjK, C. fin. 


St. Luke. It might be called by both names, as in 
the same island the city Pergamum p was also called 
Pergamea^. And though it be reckoned by Pliny 
as an inland city, yet possibly it might be nearer to 
the Fair Havens than any other city was, and there- 
fore described by St. Luke as nigh thereunto. 

The Fair Havens not being a place fit to winter 
in, the sacred historian informs us that the greater 
part of the passengers advised to depart thence, that 
they might attain to Phoenice, a haven of Crete, 
lying towards the south-west and north-west ^. This, 
as I take it, and Meursius is of the same opinion, 
is mentioned by Strabo under the name of Phoenix 
Lampei^ It is certainly named both by Ptolemy 
and Stephanus, and was a bishop's see at the time 
of the council of Nice *. 

It is afterwards said, that a tempest arising, they 
ran under a certain island which is called Clauda ". 
This is not taken notice of by Strabo ; for he omits 
almost all the islands that lay nearest to Crete ^. 
Ptolemy speaks of it, and describes it as lying at the 
west end of Crete. It is also mentioned in the 
Notitia Ecclesice as having a bishop y. 

After this St. Luke says, theij were driven up 
and down in Adria ^. And Strabo more than once 

P Veil. Paterc. pr. Plin. 1. 4. §. 20. 

') Virg. .^n. 1.3. V. J32. Plut. Lycurgo. Scylax. Vid. Cell.N.O. 
Ant. vol. 1. 1. 2. c. 14. p. 820. What renders it the more likely 
is, that Piiny does not confine himself to cities then in being. 
He mentions Phaestiis, destroyed long before his time. 

' Ch. xxvii. 12. "^ L. 10. p. 475, A. 

' Vid. Cell.N.O. Antiq. vol. i. 1. 2. c 14. p. 817. et Meurs. 
Cret. p. 54 et 55. " Ch. xxvii. 16. " Compare Strabo, 

1, 10. p. 484, C. with Pliny, Ptolemy, and Mela. 

y Vid. Cell. N. O. A. 1. 2. c. 14. p. 826. ^ Ch. xxvii. 27. 


tells us that the Ionian sea was in his days called 
Adria ^. The same we learn from Ovid ^, Philo- 
stratus'^, and Pausanias*^. It is evident also from 
St. Jerom and Orosius that this name reached quite 
to the Afric shore : for Hilarion, sailing from Parae- 
tonium in Egypt to Sicily, is said to pass through 
the midst of Adria *= : and the Tripolitan province is 
said by Orosius to be bounded on the north by the 
Adriatic sea^ The same author tells us that the 
island of Crete is bounded on the south by the 
Libyan or African sea, which they also call the 
Adriatic s. And Procopius says that the islands 
Gaulus and Melita divide the Adriatic and Tuscan 
sea ^\ 

The sacred historian informs us that they were 
at length shipwrecked, but that all the passengers 
escaped safe to land upon an island called Melita i. 
This is said by Strabo to lie opposite to Pachynum, 
a promontory of Sicily, which is described by him 
as pointing eastwards towards the Peloponnesus and 
the passage to Crete •<. 

From Melita, it is said, they sailed in a ship of 
Alexandria to Syracuse '. Syracuse, Strabo tells us, 

=^L. 2. p. 123, D. 1. 7. p. 3 17, pr. 

^ Faster. 1. 4. v. 501. Trist. 1. 1. Eleg. 10. v. 4. 

•= L. 2. Imag. in Polemone, prop. fin. et de Vit. ApoU. 1. 4. c. 8. 
p. t8i, C. '' Eliac. p. 174. 1. 13. Arcad. p. 281. 1. 33. 

e In Vit. Hilarionis. 

* Tripolitana provincia — habet a septentrione mare Sicuiiini, 
vel potiiis Adriaticum. L. i. c. 2. p. 19. 

^ Insula Creta finitur — a meridie Lybico, quod et Adriaticum 
vocant. Ibid. p. 20. 

'' In Vandal. 1. i. cap. 14, fin. p. 212. ' Ch. xxviii. i. 

^ L. 6. p. 277, C. et p. 265, D. ef I. 17. p. 834, B. C. 

' Ch. xxviii. 12. 


is a city on that side of Sicily which makes the 
straits, i. e. the straits between Italy and Sicily •". 
From Syracuse they sailed to Rhegium ". This city 
Strabo places among the Bruttii°, and describes as 
situate upon the coast of the straits between Italy 
and Sicily, and names the straits themselves from 
tliis city P ; and says, that from hence it is fifty fur- 
longs sailing to the promontory of Leucopetra \ 
which is the end or toe of Italy ^ 

It is added by the sacred writer, and after one 
day the south wind blew, and we came the next 
day to PiiteoU ^ This, Strabo tells us, was a city 
in Campania, a place of great trade, and an excel- 
lent port S and more particularly, that it was the 
port used by the Alexandrian ships ". And whoever 
will consider the situation of the several parts of 
Italy, as described by him, will easily perceive that 
a south wind was the fairest to fill the sails, and 
convey a ship from Rhegium to Puteoli^. In the 
Greek of St. Luke is levrepahi ^\6oy.ev. They waited 
one day at Rhegium for a fair wind, and the next 
day the wind turning south, they set sail ; and two 
days after they had set sail (for that the word ^ev- 

>" L. 6. p. 267, B. C. " Ch. xxviii. 13. 

« L. 6. p. 257, A. fin. B. P Ibid. p. 265, D. 

n P. 259, A. >■ L. 5. p. 211, D. 

^ Ver. 13. ^L. 5. p. 245, CD. 

" L. 17. p. 793, A. Omnis in pilis Puteolorum turba consistit, 
et ex ipso genere velorum Aiexandrinas, quamvis in magna turba 
navium, intelligit, &c. Sen. ep. yy, pr. Titus went this way from 
Alexandria to Rome. Suet. Tit. c. 5. n 4, 5. Festinans inltaliam, 
cum Rhegiiun, dehinc Puteolos oneraria nave appulisset, Romam 
inde contendit. 

^ Vid. 1. 6. p. 266, CD. p. 259, A. 1. 5. p. 210, et seq. 


Tepa7ot properly >' signifies) they arrived at Puteoli, 
which they might easily do. 

It is added, that as they went towards Rome, 
the brethren came to meet them as far as Appii 
Foriwi, and the Three Taverns'^. These places 
are not taken notice of by Strabo, but they are both 
mentioned by Tully **, and the former by Horace ^, 
and were on the famous Via Appia that led from 
Rome to Brundisium. And by the computation of 
the Itinerarlum Antonini the latter was twenty- 
three, the former forty-one Roman miles from the 
city of Rome. 

We have now examined the journeys and voyages 
of St. Paul and his companions ; and of the numer- 
ous places named therein we find but seven which 
are omitted by Strabo, the chief of the ancient geo- 
graphers that are come down to us. The rest are 
described by him in exact agreement with the His- 
tory of the Acts. Of the seven omitted by him, five 
are fully and clearly spoken of by other ancient au- 
thors. There remain only two therefore of which 
a doubt can be admitted whether they are mentioned 
by any of the ancient writers now extant. And of 
these two one was a city that had been destroyed *", 

y Vid. Raphelii Annot, ex Herod, p. 406. et ex Xenoph. p. 137. 

^ Ver. 15. 

■^ Ad Attic. I. 2. ep. 10. He dates the letter from Appii Forum, 
and says, he had sent another but a little before from the Three 

I' Sat. 1. r. 5. V. 3. 

'^ The seven are Lystra, Amphipolis, the Fair Havens, Lasea, 
Clauda, Ai)pii Forinn, and the Three Taverns. The two are, the 
Fair Havens and Lasea. Of which the former, it is probable, is 
the KaX); 'Aktv; of Stephanus, the latter the Lasos of Pliny. 


and for that reason probably neglected by the his- 
torians and geographers that have reached our age. 

§. 5. Most of the other places mentioned in the 
History of the Acts are also to be found in Strabo. 
Philip is directed by an angel to go towards the 
south unto the way that goeth from Jerusalem to 
Gaza, which is desert ', in order to meet the Ethio- 
pian eunuch, who was returning from Jerusalem to 
his own country. Agreeably hereto, Strabo describes 
Gaza as desert, and places it towards Egypt, con- 
sequently south of Jerusalem, and in the way to 
Ethiopia ^ 

St. Paul says to Lysias, / am a man which am. a 
Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no 
mean city ^ Strabo tells us that Tarsus in Cilicia 
was so famous for learning that it exceeded Athens, 
Alexandria, and every place where philosophy and 
other learning was taught : that Rome itself was a 
witness of the multitude of learned men it pro- 
duced ; for it was full of Tarsians and Alexan- 
drians ^. And Josephus says it was the most cele- 
brated city of all Cilicia, being the metropolis •'. 

Strabo informs us that Damascus ' was a famous 
city of Syria, if not the most renowned of all the 
cities that lay in that part towards the Persian do- 
minions k. That Joppa ^ was a seaport, whence Je- 

'' Acts viii. 26, 27, 28. 

«= L. 16. p. 759, C. Vid. Bell. Jud. I.4. c. 11. §. ult. 

*" Acts xxi. 39. xxii. 3. and ix. 11. 

g L. 14. p. 673, C. to p. 675, D. 

'' Ta^trs^ yap Trap' aiirotc, rZv itoKtuv ij a^ioXcyuTdrfi jt/.v)Tj;oTro>i «? oitra. 

Ant. 1. 1. c. 6. §. I. p. 17. 

' Mentioned Acts ix. 2, 3, 10. ^ L. 16. p. 756, A. 

' Mentioned At;ts ix. 36, 42, 43. 



rusalem, the metropolis of the Jews, might be seen : 
that it lay near to Jamnia, and between Caesarea ^ 
and Azotus ". Saron ", Eusebius, and Jerom tell us, 
was a plain that reached from Joppa to Caesarea p. 
This in the LXX. is called Drumus 'i, and both 
Strabo ^ and Josephus ^ speak of part of it at least 
under that name. Strabo makes mention also of 
Samaria and Galilee K In the History of the Acts 
Samaria is the name both of a city and country ", 
and so it is in Josephus'' and other writers y. Lydda% 
though omitted by Strabo, is mentioned by Pliny % 
Josephus ^, and many other authors ^. It is said in 
the History of the Acts to be nigh unto Joppa '^. 
We have not the number of miles between these 
two places transmitted down to us, but enough is 
said to convince us they could not be far the one 
from the other. Strabo has told us that Joppa was 
near to Jamnia, and in the Itinerarium Antonini is 

™ Mentioned Acts viii. 40. " L. 16. p. 759, A. B. 

" Mentioned Acts ix. 35. 

p Vid. Reland. Palaest. 1. i. c. 32. p. 188. et Cell. N. O. Ant. 
1, 3. c. 13. p. 321. '1 Is. Ixv. 10. 

"■ L. 16. p. 758, fin. et 795, A. prop. fin. 

=* De Bell. 1. i. c. 13. §. 2. et Antiq. 1. 14. c. 13. §. 3. Vid. et 
LXX. in 4to Reg. xix. 23. Is. xxxvii, 24. 

* L. 16. p. 760, D. " Ch. viii. I, 5. 

* De Bell. 1. 3. c. 3. §. 4, &c. 7. §. 32. Antiq. I. 14. c. 4. §. 4, 
prop. fin. et c. 5. §. 3- et 1. 15. c. 8. §. 5. 

y Hieron. de Locis Hebr. cit. Cellar. N. O. Ant. 1. 3. c. 13. 

P- 313- 

'- Mentioned Acts ix. 32, 35. " L. 5. §. 15. 

'^ Antiq. 1. 13. c. 4. §.9. p. 569, pr. 1. 14. c. 11. §. 2. et de Bell. 
1. 2. c. 19. §. I. et 1. 3. c. 3. §. 5. et 1. 4. c. 8. §. i. 

" Vid. Cell. N. O. A. 1. 3. c. 13. p. 322. et Reland. 1. 3. p. 877, 
878. '" Ch. ix. 38. 


put down twelve Roman miles between Lydda and 
Jamnia ^. 

It is said of the apostle Peter and his friends, that 
they set out one day from Joppa and entered Cse- 
sarea the next ^. We have no account in the Iti- 
nerarium of the distance from Joppa to Caesarea ; 
but from Lydda, which was near to it, we have 
three accounts. The Itinerarium Hierosolymita- 
num makes it thirty-six Roman miles e. The Iti- 
nerarium Antonini in one place makes forty '\ in 
another fifty-nine \ The numbers in this last place 
are probably corrupted. An Arab writer, quoted by 
the learned Reland, says that the distance between 
Joppa and Caesarea was thirty miles ; and Ptolemy 
makes the difference of latitude to be twenty-five 
minutes ^. 

Caesarea is in the History of the Acts distin- 
guished from Judaea. It is said of Herod Agrippa, 
that he went down J'rom Judcea to Ccesarea ^ In 
like manner the prophet Agabus is said to have 
come down from Jiidcea to Ccesarea ™. Agreeably 
hereto Strabo places Caesarea in Phoenicia °, and so 
does Josephus ^. The latter gives a reason why it 
could not be in that which was j^roperly Judaea ; 
because the Jews would not have suffered Herod to 
have built temples and erected images in their coun- 
try, these things being forbidden them ; he therefore 
chose foreign countries and cities to adorn and beau- 

^ P. 32. called there Laninia, as also in the Peutingeriau 
Tables. Vid. Reland. Pal. 1. 2. p. 419. 

f Ch. X. 23, 24. 'i P. 154. '' P. 32. i P. 43. 

^ Vid. Reland Pal. 1. 3. p. 675. et 1. 2. j). 460. 

'Ch. xii. 19. '" Ch. xxi. 8. 10. " L. 16. p. 758,0. 

° Antiq. 1. 15. C. 9. §.6. Kenrat [iXv yocp ij noXn; (v ttj i'oiv'tKri. 

A a 2 


tify in this manner p. For Herod had built a temple 
to Augustus in Caesarea, and had placed a coloss or 
large image of his therein i. Accordingly the Sy- 
rians which inliabited Caesarea, in the quarrel they 
had with the Jews about preference, tell them, that 
when the city went by the name of Stratonis Turris, 
i. e. before Herod built and adorned it, there was 
not a Jew dwelt in it •■. Notwithstanding this, Jo- 
sephus himself, in another part of his works, calls it 
a city of Judaea ^. When he calls it so, he means by 
Judaea the ancient seat of the twelve tribes, which 
is a sense that both he * and other writers " some- 
times put upon the word ; but not Judaea strictly 
and properly taken, as distinguished from Samaria 
and Galilee. 

Lysias the chiliarch, or tribune, ordered that two 
hundred soldiers, threescore horsemen, and two hun- 
dred spearmen, should be ready at the third hour 
of the night, i. e. about nine o'clock at night, to 
bring St. Paul safe to Caesarea ^. St. Luke after- 
wards says, that f/ie soldiers, as it was commanded 
them, took Paid, and brought him hy night to An- 
tipatrisy. Some learned men understand this as 

V Ilo'Xe;? T£ KTt^uv, Kcti vacihi; iyuprnv, ovk iv t^ tuv 'lov^aiuv, ovhe yap 
av rjvfa^ovro, ruv toiovtuv a,isriyopeviA€va)v i}[Mv, w? ayaXiMtTu Kai Ttwou? 
l/.€jxop(l)U]iA,iyov(; rif/.a.v irpcx; tw '^KK-^vikIv Tpoirov, tvjv S' e^u ^tipav, ko.) xa? 
woA€(? oi/'tw? KaT€aKfvaC,€TO. Ibid. §. 5. 

'i De Bell. 1. i. c. 21. §. 7. 

■■ Antiq. 1. 20. c. (7. Iluds. but the) 8. in truth, §. y, pr. 

^ De ]3ell. 1. 3. c. 8. §. i, pr. 

' Antiq. 1. I. C. 6. §. 2. Xavaaw; rrjv vvv 'lovhatav KuMvf^ivviv 

oiKyjO'cx.i, an ainov Xavava/av Tcpoavjyopevffe. 

" Hieron. Euseb. &c. cit. Reland. Palaest. 1. i. p. 35, 36. 
" Acts xxiii. 23. y Ver. 31. 


done the same night ^, but there is not the least ne- 
cessity of so understanding it. The order given by 
Lysias was, that they should travel in the night- 
time, that St. Paul's going to Caesarea might be con- 
cealed from the Jews, and there might be no insur- 
rection or attempt made to murder him. This order 
the soldiers obeyed, and brought him to Antipatris 
by night, but it is not said they did this in one 
night. They might probably reach Nicopolis the 
first night, and, resting there all day, go to Anti- 
patris the next night. So, when it is said in the 
verse immediately following, on the morrow they 
left the horsemen to go with him, and returned to 
the castle, it is not necessary to understand this as 
though the two hundred soldiers and two hundred 
spearmen went back to Jerusalem in one day : no ; 
on the morrow after they arrived at Antipatris, 
knowing that their prisoner was now safe from any 
attempt of the Jews % and needed not so great a 
guard, they returned towards the castle of Antonia, 
from whence they set out. 

Antipatris, Josephus informs us, was a city built 
by Herod the Great, in honour of his father ^. In 
the Mishna it is said to lie in the way from Jeru- 

^ Vid. Cell. N. O. Ant. 1. 3. c. 13. p. 324. 

" Cestius Gallus in his retreat, or rather flight from the siege 
of Jerusalem, was pursued by the Jews to Antipatris. The reason 
is, because from Jerusalem to Antipatris was a mountainous^ hilly 
country, and they had great advantages over him ; but from Anti- 
patris to C^esarea was a plain. They came off the mountainous 
into a hilly country indeed at Nicopolis ; but the mountains lay 
close by them from Nicopolis to Lydda, and from Lydda to An- 
tipatris. Vid. Jos. de Bell. 1. 2. c. 19. §. 7, 8, 9. et 1. i. c. 4. §. 7. 
et c. 21. §. 9. 

^ Antiq. 1. 16, c. 5. §. 2. 

A a 3 


salem to Galilee '^. That it was in the road from 
Jerusalem to Ca?sarea fully appears from the Itine- 
rarium Hierosolymitcmum, and is sufficiently evi- 
dent from Josephus 'I We are told by the same 
author, that from Jerusalem to Caesarea was six 
hundred furlongs ^ about sixty-eight and a half of 
our statute miles ; but he has nowhere given us the 
distance from Jerusalem to Antipatris. The Itine- 
rarium Hierosolymitamim makes it forty-two Ro- 
man miles, i. e. something more than thirty-eight of 
our statute miles, twenty-two Roman miles from 
Jerusalem to Nicopolis or Emmaus, ten miles thence 
to Lydda, and ten more from Lydda to Antipatris ^ 
The learned Cellarius, to whom the world is 
greatly indebted for the indefatigable pains he has 
taken in collecting and clearing up the ancient geo- 
graphy, supposes an error in the first of these num- 
bers, and that instead of twenty-two it ought to be 
but eight % taking for granted that Nicopolis is the 
same with the Emmaus ^ mentioned in St. Luke's 
Gospel '\ and by Josephus '' as sixty furlongs from 
Jerusalem. So that, according to him, from Jeru- 

'^ Gittin. 7. in. 7. cit. Reland. Pal. I. 3. p. 569. 

'' De Bell. 1. 2. c. 19. §. i. et 1. 4. c. 8. §. i. 

'^ Antiq, 1. 13. c. 1 1. §. 2. et de Bell. 1. i. c. 3. §. 5. 

' A clay's journey to some who ran was one hundred and fifty 
Roman miles, according to Pliny. To walkers, a day's journey, 
according to Herodotus, is two hundred and fifty furlongs, some- 
thing more than thirty-one miles. From Athens to Megara, ac- 
cording to Auliis Gelliiis, twenty miles; according to Procopius, 
more than twenty-six miles. A day's journey in the Gemara is 
forty Roman miles ; in the Misna, from Jerusalem to Acrabba, 
Lydda, or Jordan. Vid. Reland. Palest. 1. 2. c. i. p. 400, 401. 

8 N. O. Ant. 1. 3. c. 13. p. 323. " Ibid. p. 340, 341. 

' Ch. xxiv. 13. k De Bell. I. 7. c. 6. §. 6. 


salem to Antipatris was but twenty-eight Roman, 
or about twenty-five and a half of our statute miles. 
Agreeably hereto, Joannes Damascenus says it is 
eighteen miles from Jerusalem to Lydda ^ Cellarius 
judges this account to be confirmed by the History 
of the Acts, understanding that the soldiers which 
conducted St. Paul performed their journey to Anti- 
patris the same night they set out "\ But Reland, 
who has with great industry and learning given us 
the geography of Palestine in particular, has, I think, 
quite removed the foundation on which Cellarius 
builds, and fully proved that the Emmaus which 
was afterwards called Nicopolis was not the same 
with that mentioned by St. Luke and Josephus as 
sixty furlongs distant from Jerusalem, but another 
Emmaus in the tribe of Dan, beyond Beth-horon, 
between that and Lydda, and in the direct road 
from Antipatris to Jerusalem ". 

It is said in the History of the Acts, that the 
mount called Olivet was from Jerusalem a sabbath- 
day's journey o. A sabbath day's journey is explained 
in the Syriac translation to be about seven furlongs. 
Epiphanius says it was but six furlongs ^\ Mount 
Olivet is by Josephus placed five furlongs from Je- 
rusalem ^. In another part of his works he tells us 
that Titus ordered part of his army to encamp, when 
they were six furlongs distant from Jerusalem, on 

' Vid. Cell. p. 322. "' P. 324. pauIo post ined. 

" L. 2. c. 6. p. 426, &c. Vid. Jos. de Bell. 1. 2. c. 19. §. i. 8. 
et 1. 4. c. 8. §. I. Cellarius himself proves that Beth-horon was 
one hundred furlongs, or twelve miles, distant from Jerusalem. 
Ibid. p. 325- 

° Ch. i. 12. P Haer. 66. cit. Reland. Pal. 1. 2. p. 398. 

'1 Antiq. 1. 20. c. (7. Huds. but should be) 8. §. 6. 

A a 4 



mount Olivet '". No doubt the mount of Olives was 
five, six, seven, or more furlongs distant from Jeru- 
salem, according to the part of the city reckoned 
from, or the part of the mount to which the reckon- 
ing was made. 

Many learned men think, though this is not said 
in the History, nor is there any necessity of so un- 
derstanding it, that the reckoning here began from 
that part of the mount from which our Lord ascended 
to heaven. St. Luke tells us in his Gospel, that that 
was from Bethany ^ But the town of Bethany, 
St. John informs us, was fifteen furlongs from Jeru- 
salem \ They suppose therefore, that a certain part 
of the mount, extending some furlongs upwards 
from the town or village, was called by the name of 
Bethany ^, which is a very easy and natural supposi- 
tion, all villages at this day communicating their 
name to the whole tract of ground that belongs to 

But were it certain that the place from which our 
Lord ascended was close adjoining to the town or 
village of Bethany, and that the sacred historian 
understood by a sabbath day's journey, the distance 
of that village, the Talmudists have given such an 
account of things as would clear this matter up. 
They say that a sabbath day's journey is two thou- 
sand cubits "". This is explained by the Jews to be 
a Roman mile y. They held it lawful for a person 

■^ DeBell. 1. 5. c. 2. §.3. •■* Ch. xxiv. 50, 51. 'Ch.xi. 18. 

" Light. V. I. p. 252. V. 2. p. 304. et 485. Vid. et Wolf. Cur. 
in Matt. xxi. i . 

" Seld. de Jure Nat. et Gent. 1. 3. c. 9. p. 314, &c. Light. 
vol. I. p. 252. et vol. 2. p. 485, fin. Buxt. Lex. Talm. p. 2582. 

>• lie!. Pal. I. 2. c. I. p. 396, 397. 


to walk as far as he pleased in any city. The reck- 
oning of two thousand cubits did not commence till 
he was out of the city. And if the learned Buxtorf 
has represented their sense rightly, they included 
the suburbs also under the name of the city ^, and 
the suburbs were always two thousand cubits more. 
These, put together, make a sabbath-day's journey 
about two Roman miles from the walls of the city, 
which is about the distance that Bethany was from 

It is very certain the Talmudists have laid down 
such rules for the measurement of their sabbath- 
day's journey from any city or town, that they fre- 
quently included large spaces beyond the utmost 
houses of the town, sometimes two thousand cubits % 
and thereby took in neighbouring towns or villages. 
With regard to Jerusalem in particular, Bethphage, 
which we learn from the sacred writers was situate 
upon Olivet, and from others that it was a mile 
distant from Bethany, is by the Talmudists reck- 
oned as a part of Jerusalem ''. Hence, therefore, a 
sabbath-day's journey reaches Bethany. St. Luke, 
speaking in the Acts of the Apostles after the Jew- 
ish manner, a sahhath-daifs journey, must be sup- 
posed to reckon as they did, i. e. from Bethphage. 
St. John, speaking after the Roman manner, reckons 
from the walls of Jerusalem. 

' Lex. Tal. p. 2583. 

■' Light, vol. 2. p. 304. Seld. de Jur. Nat. 1. 3. c. 9, p. 317, 


'' Buxt. Lex, Tal. p. 1691. Light, vol. i. p. 252. vol. 2. p. 37, 

39. 40- 


The principal facts confirmed. 

HAVING considered the several incidental and 
circumstantial things mentioned in the History of 
the Acts, and seen how far they are confirmed by 
other authors, I now proceed to the principal mat- 
ters therein related, which are the propagation of 
the Christian reHgion, and the miraculous means 
made use of to accomplish it. The writer of this 
History gives a plain narration of the fulfilment 
which Christ made of his promise to endue his fol- 
lowers with power from on high, and of their spread- 
ing the gospel doctrine by their preaching, and the 
wonders they wrought through some of the most 
known parts of the Roman empire, together with 
the opposition that was made to it ; but this so very 
briefly, that it is evident he omits many more things 
than he records. In endeavouring to shew how far 
what he says is confirmed by other authors, I shall 
begin with those who lived at the time when the 
things themselves were transacted. Through the 
good providence of God there are some pieces come 
down to us which were written by the persons prin- 
cipally concerned in the facts recorded. I mean the 
Gospels of St. Matthew, St. Mark, and St. John, to- 
gether with the Epistles of the holy apostles, most of 
which were sent before the History of the Acts was 
finished, and contain an ample confirmation of well- 
nigh all the things therein related. 

J. 1. In this History is frequent mention made of 
the baptism of John, the forerunner of our Lord ^ 

" Ch. i. 22. xiii. 24. xviii. 25. and xix. 3, 4. 


John verily hapthed with the baptism of repent- 
ance, saying unto the people, that they should be- 
lieve on him which should come after him, that is, 
on Christ Jesus ^. Accordingly we read in the Gos- 
pel of St. Mark, that John did baptize in the wil- 
derness, and preach the baptism of repentance '^. 
And in all three of the Gospels we are told that he 
referred to Christ, who should come after him. And 
St. John expressly says, that the intention hereof 
was, that the people might believe on him : He 
came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, 
that all men through him might believe ^. Another 
saying of John the Baptist is recorded in the Acts, 
Whom think ye that I am f I am 7iot he. But, be- 
hold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his 
feet I am 7iot worthy to loose ^. And agreeably 
hereto, in the Gospel of St. John, the Baptist is in- 
troduced, saying, Ye yourselves bear me witness, 
that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am 
sent before him ^. And the other part of the saying, 
Behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes' 
latchet I am not worthy to loose, is mentioned by 
all the three evangelists ^. 

It is represented in the Acts, that when our Lord, 
immediately before his ascension, ordered his dis- 
ciples not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for 
the promise of the Father, he added. For John truly 
baptized with water ; but ye shall be baptized with 
the Holy Ghost not many days hence ''. And in 
the Gospel of St, Mark, John the Baptist says, There 
cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet 

t^ Ch. xix. 4. " Ch. i. 4. '" Ch. i. 7. 

^ Ch. xiii. 25. ^ Ch. iii. 28. et i. 20. 

g Matt. iii. 1 1. Mark i. 7. .John i. 27. '' Ch. i. 5. etxi. i6. 


of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down to 
unloose. I indeed ham hapt'med you with water,- 
hut he shall hapthe you with the Holy Ghost'. 
And much to the same purpose in the other two 
Gospels ^\ 

It is said in the Acts, that the preaching of Jesus 
began from Galilee, after the baptism which John 
preached '. And thus it is represented in the three 
Gospels : St. Matthew says, Now when Jesus had 
heard that John was cast into 2)rison, he departed 
into Galilee. From that time Jesus began to 
preach, and say. Repent: for the kingdom of 
heaven is at hand''\ And St. Mark: Now after 
that John was put into prison, Jesus came into 
Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of 

§. 2. It is added in the Acts, that the word 
preached by Jesus was 2mblished throughout all 
Judcea °. And we read both in St. Matthew and 
St. Mark, that Christ not only preached himself in 
the cities of Judaea, but that he chose twelve, whom 
he sent on the same errand i'. St. Peter is repre- 
sented in the Acts as saying to the Jews that Jesus 
of Nazareth was approved of God among them by 
miracles, and wonders, and signs, which God did 
by him in the midst of them, appealing to their own 
knowledge of the fact, as ye yourselves also know 'J. 
And in another place, to Cornelius and his friends, 
Jesus of Nazareth went about doing goody and 

' Ch. i. 7, 8. '' Matt. iii. ii. John i. 26, 27, 33, 

' Ch. X. 36, 37. et xiii. 24. "" Ch. iv. 12, 17. 

" Ch. i. 14. See also John i. 43, &c. et ii. i — 1 1. 

" Ch. X. 37. P Matt. X. 5, 6, 7. Mark vi. 7. 1 2. 30. 

'1 Ch. ii. 22. 


healing all that were oppressed of the Devil^'. And 
that our blessed Lord went about from place to 
place, both in Galilee and Judaea, not only preaching 
repentance, and the gospel kingdom, but also heal- 
ing the diseased and the lame, and performing the 
greatest miracles, is the known subject of the three 

It is said in the Acts, that he chose him apostles ; 
and the names of the eleven, which were then living, 
are recorded ^. His choosing twelve apostles is par- 
ticularly related by St. Mark, and both St. Matthew 
and St. Mark give us their names S all which, ex- 
cepting one, are the same with those in the Acts. 
The twelve are represented in the Acts as having 
been with Christ from the beginning of his ministry, 
or from John's baptism, and as his witnesses to the 
people ". Accordingly, in St. John's Gospel, Jesus 
says to the twelve. And ye also shall hear witness, 
because ye have been with me from the beginning^. 
In the Acts Jesus tells them, Ye shall be ivitnesses 
unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, a?id 
in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the 
earth y. And in the Gospels of St. Matthew and 
St. Mark, he commissions them to go teach all na- 
tions ^ : Go ye into all the world, and ptreach the 
gospel unto every creature ^. 

J. 3. The circumstances of our Lord's trial and 
death, referred to in the Acts, agree exactly with 

^Ch. X. 38. ^ Ch. i. 2. 13. 

* Matt. X. I — 4. Mark iii. 14, &c. et vi. 30. See also John vi. 

" Ch. i. 8, 21, 22. ii. 32. iii. 15. iv. 13, 33. v. 32. and xiii.31. 

* Ch. XV. 27. y Ch. i. 8. ^ Matt, xxviii. 19, 20. 
^ Mark xvi. 15, 


the relation in the three Gospels. St. Paul is intro- 
duced as saying, Those that dwell at Jerusalem^ 
and their rulers, though theij found no cause of 
death m him, yet desired they Pilate that he shoidd 
he slain ^ And both St. Matthew and St. Mark tell 
us, that though the chief priests and Jewish council 
sought for witness against Jesus, yet they found 
none '^ : that, notwithstanding, they were urgent with 
Pilate to crucify him'^: and this, though he declared 
that he found no fault in him ^. The apostle Peter 
is represented in the Acts as speaking to the Jews 
in this manner concerning our Saviour ; Whom ye 
delivered up, and denied him in the presence of 
Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But 
ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired 
a murderer to he granted unto you ^. Both St. Mat- 
thew and St. Mark tell us, when the chief priests 
and elders of the people had bound Jesus, they led 
him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the 
Roman governor s. And St. John, When Pilate said 
unto them. Shall I crmcify your King f the chief 
priests answered, IVe have no king hut Ctssar^. 
And all three relate, that when Pilate would have 
released unto them Jesus, the Jews asked Barabbas', 
who, St. Mark says, had been guilty of sedition, and 
had committed murder ^. St. John further adds, that 
Pilate sought to release Jesus, hut the Jews cried 

^ Ch. xiii. 28. <" Matt. xxvi. 59, 60. Mark xiv. 55. 

'' Matt, xxvii. 22, 23. Mark xv. 13, 14. 

^ Matt, xxvii. 24. John xviii. 38. and xix. 4. 

* Ch. iii. 13, 14. S5 Matt, xxvii. i, 2. Mark xv. i. 

'' Ch. xix. 15. 

' Matt, xxvii. 17, 18, 20. Mark xv. 9, 10, 1 1. John xviii. 39, 40. 

^ Ch. XV. 7. 


out. If thou let this man go, thou art not Ccesar's 
friend^. St. Peter, in the History of the Acts, says 
to the Jews concerning our Lord, Whom ye have 
crucified "' ; whom ye slew, and hanged on a tree ". 
And in another place more fully. Him ye have 
taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and 
slain °. And all the three Gospels relate, that it was 
wholly at the instigation of the Jews that Pilate 
crucified Jesus. 

^. 4. The same apostle, addressing himself to the 
disciples, asserts, that Judas, who was numbered 
with us, and had obtained part of this ministry, 
was guide unto them that took Jesus p. In all the 
three Gospels it is said, that Judas betrayed Jesus "^ ; 
and that the manner in which he betrayed him was 
by being guide to the officers who were sent to ap- 
prehend him \ And both St. Matthew and St. Mark 
expressly affirm, that this Judas was one of the 
twelve apostles, whom he had chosen ^. St. Peter 
further adds, Now this man 'purchased afield with 
the reward of iniquity ; and falVmg headlong, he 
burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels 
gushed out. And it was known unto all the dwell- 
ers at Jerusalern ; insomuch as that field is called 
in their proper tofigue, Aceldama, that is to say, 
the Field of Blood K St. Mark tells us, that the 
chief priests promised to give money to Judas for 
the betraying of Jesus ". St. Matthew is more par- 

'Ch. xix. 12. '" Ch. ii. 36. and iv. lo. " Ch. v. 30. andx. 39. 

°Ch. ii. 23. P Ch. i. 16, 17. 

'1 John xiii. 2, 10, 11, 21, 26. 

«■ Matt. xxvi. 47, 48, 49. Mark xiv. 43, 44, 45. John xviii. 2, 3. 

s Matt. X. 4. Mark in. 19. ' Acts i. 18, 19. 

" Ch. xiv. 10, II. 


ticular, and says they contracted with him for thirty 
pieces of silver^. He informs us afterwards, that 
this sum was actually paid him y ; that a field was 
purchased with it ^ ; and that it was called the Field 
of Blood''; and that Judas made a bad end^. 

^. 5. St. Paul is introduced in the Acts as saying, 
A.7id when they had fulfilled all that was written 
of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid 
him in a sepulchre "". The taking down the body 
of Jesus from the cross, and laying it in a sepulchre, 
is related by all three evangelists ^. And that he 
was buried is particularly mentioned by St. Paul in 
his First Epistle to the Corinthians *^. The resur- 
rection of Christ from the dead is frequently insisted 
on in the Acts of the Apostles ^ And it is said, that 
he was seen by, and conversed with, his disciples 
many days after he arose ^, to whom he shewed 
himself alive after his passion hy many infallible 
proofs '\ The resurrection of Christ is particularly 
related in each of the three Gospels, as also that he 
was seen by and conversed with his disciples for a 
considerable time '. The same thing is also con- 
firmed in the Epistles : St. Paul says to the Corinth- 
ians, that Christ rose again the third day, and 
was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve. After that, 
he was seen of above five hundred brethren at 
once; after that, he was seen of James ; then of 

^ Matt. xxvi. 15. > Ch. xxvii. 3, 5. ^ Ch. xxvii. 7. 

•' Ver. 8, '' Cli. xxvii. 5. " Ch. xiii. 29. 

'^ Matt, xxvii. 59, 60. Mark xv. 46. John xix. 40, 41, 42. 

'^ Ch. XV. 4. 

f Ch. i. 22. ii. 24, &c. iii. 15. iv. 10, 33. v. 30. and xvii. 31. 

R Ch. xiii. 31. and i. 3. '' Ch. i. 3. 

■ Matt, xxviii. Mark xvi. John xx. and xxi. 


all the apostles^. And St. John informs us, that 
when the other disciples had seen Jesus, Thomas 
not being with them, he declared, that except he 
should see in his hands the print of the nails, and 
put his finger into the print of the nails, and 
thrust his hand into his side, he would not believe : 
and that our Lord coming again to his disciples, 
when Thomas was with them, did accordingly sa- 
tisfy him : Reach hither thy finger, and behold 
my hands ; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust 
it into my side ^ To which also the same apostle 
probably refers in the beginning of his First Epistle, 
when he says. And our hands have handled of the 
Word of life. St. Peter is represented as saying to 
Cornelius and his friends. Him God raised up the 
third day, and shelved him openly ; not to all the 
peojjle, but unto witnesses chose^i before of God, 
even to us, ivho did eat and drink with him after 
he rose from the dead^^. St. Mark says, tliat after 
his resurrection he appeared to the eleven as they 
sat at meat ". And St. John naming eight of his dis- 
ciples, among whom was Peter, who went a fishing, 
Jesus shewed himself to them ; and having prepared 
broiled fish and bread, invited them to come and 
dine with him ^. 

^. 6. There is a particular relation in the Acts of 
his being received up into heaven in the view of his 
apostles P. St. Stephen also is represented as seeing 
him in heaven standing on the right hand of God ''. 
And we read in the Gospel of St. John, that he not 

^ I Cor. XV. 4 — 7 



i. 4 

. iv. 


. vi 

• 5- 




Cor. vi. 14. 

2 Cor. 



Phil, i 

lii. 1 


1 V 


i. 3. 




' John XX. 

24. 25. 


"-• Act 

S X. 







° Gh. xxi. ) 

[. 2. 9. 1 


!■ Ch. i 

• 9' 



Acts vii. 





only foretold the manner of his death and his resur- 
rection, but liis ascension into heaven *". Go to my 
hrethren, and say unto tJiem^ I ascerid unto my 
Father and your Father. And St. Mark tells us, He 
was received up into heaven^ and sat on the right 
hand of God ^. The same thing is frequently as- 
serted in the Epistles. St. Peter says, He is gone 
into heaven^ and is on the right hand of God; 
angels arid authorities and powers being made 
subject to him I And St. Paul says, He is passed 
into the heavens^; is made higher than the hea- 
vens " ; is ascended up far above all heavens y ; 
where he sitteth at the right hand of God ^ ; far 
above all principalittj , and power, and might, and 
dominion, and every name that is named, not only 
in this world, but also in that which is to come *. 

^. 7. We read in the History of the Acts of the won- 
derful effusion of the Holy Ghost upon the disciples 
after our Lord's ascension to heaven ^ ; that the apo- 
stles were enal)led to confer the miraculous gifts of 
the Spirit on others by laying their hands on them ^ ; 
and that the apostle Paul in particular bestowed 
these extraordinary endowments '^ In exact agree- 
ment herewith, the apostle Paul says in his Epistle 
to the Ephesians, that ivhen Christ ascended on 
high, he gave gifts unto men^; describes what 
those gifts were, and how they were divided and 
distributed, in his First Epistle to the Corinthians ^ ; 

'^ Ch. XX. 17. and xvi. 16. 28. See vi. 62. and iii. 13. 

* Ch. xvi. 19. '^ I Pet. iii. 22. " Heb. iv. 14. 

* Heb. vii. 26. y Eph. iv. 10. ^ Col. iii. i. 
" Eph. i. 20, 21. See Rom. viii. 24. Heb. i. 3. viii. i. x. 12. 

and xii. 2. '^ Ch. ii. ^ Ch. viii. 17, 18. '' Ch. xix. 6, 

'^ Eph. iv. 8. f Ch. xii. xiii. and xiv. See ch. i. 5, 6, 7. 


makes mention of them in his other Epistles s, and 
professes his desire of imparting them to the Ro- 
mans •'. We read also in this History, that many 
among the Christian converts were prophets, and 
enabled to foretell things to come '. Agreeably here- 
to, we find in St. Paul's Epistles, that prophesying 
was one of the extraordinary gifts bestowed liy 
Christ on his followers ''. 

We read in the Acts, that the apostle Peter gave 
strength and soundness to the lame ^, healed the pa- 
ralytic "*, raised the dead " ; and that by the hands 
of the apostles ivere many signs and wonders 
wrought among the people; insomuch that they 
brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid 
them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow 
of Peter passifig by might overshadow some of 
them. There came also a multitude out of the 
cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick 
folks, and them which were vexed with unclean 
spirits, and they were healed every one°. It is 
also said of Stephen the protomartyr, that, full of 
faith and power, he did great miracles among the 
people P ; and of Philip, one of the seven deacons 
chosen with Stephen, that the people of Samaria 
gave heed unto the things which he spake, hearing 
and seeing the miracles which he did. For un- 
clean spirits, crying with a loud voice, ca^ne out of 

*=' Rom. viii. 23. and xii. 6, 7, 8. 2 Cor. i. 22. and v. 5. Gal. iii. 
2. 5. Eph. i. 13. and iv. 30. Heb. vi. 4. 
'' Rom. i. I [. See Whitby on the place. 
' Ch. xi. 27, 28. xiii. i. and xxi. 9, 10, 11. 
'' Eph. iv. 1 1. I Cor. xii. 28. and xiv. 29, &c. 
' Ch. iii. 2. viii. 8. ^ Ch. ix. 33, 34. " Ver. 40. 

'^ Acts V. 12. 15. t6. p Acts vi. 8. 

B b 2 


mamj that were jwssessecl: and many taleen ivith 
pah'ies, and that ivere lame, were healed'^. In 
agreement herewith it is written in the Epistle to 
the Hebrews, How shall we escape, if we neglect 
so great salvation ; ivhich at the first began to he 
spoken hij the Lord, and teas confirmed unto us hy 
them that heard him ; God also bearing than wit- 
ness both with signs and wonders, and ivith divers 
miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according 
to his own wilP'^ And in the conclusion of the 
Gospel according to St. Mark, So then, after the 
Lord had spoken unto them, i. e. the eleven apo- 
stles, he teas 7'eceived up into heaven, and sat on 
the right hand of God. And they ivent forth, and 
preached every where, the Lord working with 
them, and co7ifirming the word with signs fol- 
lowing ^ 

^. 8. Many and great miracles are related in the 
History of the Acts to be wrought by St. Paul and 
his fellow-labourers in their preaching the gospel to 
the Gentiles \ And agreeably hereto, St. Paul says 
in his Epistle to the Corinthians, Truly the signs 
of an apostle ivere ivr ought amongst you i?i all 
patioice, in sig?is, and wonders, and mighty 
deeds''. And in that to the Romans, / will not 
dare to speak of any of those things which Christ 
has not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obe- 
dient hy word and deed, through mighty signs and 
ivonders, by the power of the Spirit of God ; so 
that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illy- 
ricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ^. 

'! Ch. viii.6. 7. 13. ' Ch. ii. 3, 4. '^ Ch. xvi. 19, 20. 

' Ch. xiii. II. xiv. 3. 8. xv. 12. xvi. 18. xix. 11, 12. xx. 10, 1 i. 

and xxviii. 5. 8. 9. " 2 Cor, xii. 12. ^ Ch. xv. 18, 19. 


I make not the least doubt but the apostles wrought 
miracles in every city where they came with a view 
to preach the gospel, and make converts. St. Luke 
is so very succinct in his History of the Acts, that 
he often omits them. He gives us an account only 
of a miracle or two wrought at Philippi in his whole 
relation of St. Paul's second journey from Antioch 
to the west, when he converted a great part of Ma- 
cedonia and Achaia ; though it is evident, from St. 
Paul's own Epistle already quoted, that he at that time 
did many signs and wonders at Corinth. And that 
he did the same at Thessalonica is not obscurely in- 
timated in his First Epistle to the Thessalonians y. 
We read nothing in the Acts of the Apostles of 
what St. Paul did in Galatia the first time, more 
than that he went through it ^ And all that is 
added the second time he was there is, that he ivent 
over all the country of Galatia, strengthening all 
the discijiles ^. Which indeed is an intimation, that 
the first time he was there he preached the gospel 
among them, and made converts. But from his 
Epistle to the Galatian churches it is fully evident 
that he wrought miracles among them, and con- 
ferred on them the gifts of the Holy Spirit. For 
he asks them, He that ministereth to you the 
Spitit, and worketh miracles among you, doth he 
it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of 

J. 9. We are told in the Acts, that great oppo- 
sition was made by the unbelieving Jews to the 

V Ch. i. 5. ^ Acts xvi. 6. ^ Ch. xviii. 23. 

'' Gal. iii. 3.5. That he means himself, is evident from the 
whole tenor of the Epistle. See ch. i. 6. and iv. 11. 13. 14. 19. 

B b 3 


spreading of the gospel, and that a severe persecu- 
tion was raised against the disciples of Christ in 
Judaea, such which occasioned their dispersion ^. Of 
this persecution particular notice is taken by St. 
Paul in his Epistles. He says to the Thessalonians, 
F^or 1/e, bref/ire?i, hecame followers of the churches 
of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus : for 
ye also have suffered like things of your own coun- 
trymen, even as they have of the Jews '^. And he 
exhorts the Hebrews in his Epistle to them, Call to 
rememhrance the former days, in which, after ye 
were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of af- 
flictions ; partly, whilst ye ivere made a gaiiing- 
stoch both by repi'oaches and afflictions ; and 
j)artly, whilst ye became companions of them that 
were so used^. St. Paul himself is represented in 
the History of the Acts as having been forward, 
zealous, and active in this persecution f. He fre- 
quently affirms the same thing in his Epistles, say- 
ing to the Galatians, Ye have heard of my conver- 
sation in time past in the Jews' i^eligion, how that 
beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, 
and wasted it^ ; and telling the Corinthians, that 
he was the lea^t of the apostles, and not meet to be 
called an apostle, because he had persecuted the 
church of God ^\ 

J. 10. He is introduced into the History as say- 
ing, that he was broitght up at Jerusalem at the 
feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the per- 
fect manner of the law of the fathers, and in the 

^ Acts viii. I. and xi. 19. ''1 Thess. ii. 14. 

« Heb. X. 32, 33. ^ Ch. vii. 58. viii. i. ix. x, 2. xxii. 4, 5. 

and xxvi. 9, 10, 1 1. « Ch. i. 13. 

'' 1 Cor. XV. 9. 8ee Gal. i. 23. Phil. iii. 6. i Tim. i. 13. 


most straitest sect of their religion lived a Pha- 
risee \ Agreeably hereto, in his Epistles he de- 
clares, that he jwojited in the Jews' religion above 
many his equals in his own nation^ being more 
exceedingly zealous of the tradition of his fathers, 
and as touching the law was a Pharisee ^. In the 
History is an account of Christ's appearing to him 
in his way to Damascus ^ The same is plainly al- 
luded to in his Epistle to the Galatians "^, in which 
also he mentions two of his journeys to Jerusalem " ; 
and both of them are related in the History of the 
Acts : that, three years after his conversion, when 
he escaped from the Jews of Damascus ° ; and the 
other, fourteen years after his conversion, when he 
went up with Barnabas from Antioch to consult the 
apostles and elders whether the believing Gentiles 
were to be circumcised p. 

St. Luke has omitted the relation of his journey 
into Arabia, and his reprehension of the apostle 
Peter at Antioch, both mentioned by himself in his 
Epistle to the Galatians 'J ; as also the severe suffer- 
ings he enumerates in his Second Epistle to the 
Corinthians, Of the Jews jive times received I 
forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with 
rods, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a 
day have I been in the deep ■■. These things it is 
likely might happen the first nine or ten years after 
St. Paul's conversion, during which time he preached 
the gospel in Arabia ^ Syria, and Cilicia '. For of 

' Acts xxii. 3. xxiii, 6. and xxvi. 5. *>' Gal. i. 14. Phil. iii. 5. 

' Acts ix. 3, &c. xxii. 6. and xxvi. 12. '" Ch. i, 15, 16, 17. 

" Gal. i. 18. and ii. i. " Acts ix. 26. p Ch. xv. 2. 

^ Ch. i. 17. and ii. 1 1, &c. ^ Ch. xi. 24, 25. « Gal. i. 17. 
t Gal. i. 21. 



this part of his life the book of the Acts gives us a 
very brief history, probably because St. Luke was 
not then with him. We are told indeed in the Acts, 
as well as in his Epistle to the Galatians, of his 
spending part of this time at Tarsus in Cilicia ", and 
of his preaching a whole year at Antioch in Syria ^. 
We learn from the History, that f/ie Jews at 
Damascus took counsel to kill kim, and watched 
the gates day and night to that e?id ; but their 
lying in wait being known, the disciples took him 
by nighty and let him down hy the wall in a 
basket^. The same providential escape is related 
by himself in his Second Epistle to the Corinthians ^ 
He is represented in the Acts as telling the people, 
that while he jwayed in the temple at Jerusalem, 
he was in a trance, and saw the Lord^. The same 
heavenly vision is referred to by him in his Second 
Epistle to the Corinthians ^. There is frequent men- 
tion made in the Acts of his mission to the Gentiles 
in particular. Thus, while he was in the trance we 
have just now spoken of, the Lord says to him, De- 
jjart, for I will send thee far hence to the Gen- 
tiles ^. He dwells upon the same very often in his 
Epistles, calling himself the apostle of the Gen- 
tiles '^5 magnifying his office as such, the minister of 
Jesus Christ to the Gentiles^, the teacher of the 
Gentiles ^ 

" Ch. ix. 30. and xi. 25, 26. "* Ch. xi. 26. 

> Acts ix. 23, 24, 25. ' Ch. xi. 32, 33. 

-' Ch. xxii. 17, 18. '' Ch. xii. 

'^ Ch. xxii. 21. See Acts ix.15. xiii. 2. and xxvi. 17, 18. 
'' Koni. xi. 13. '^ Rom. xv. 16. 

' 2 Tim. i. 1 1. See Gal. i. 15, 16. and ii. 8. Eph. iii. 1 — 8. 
I 'J'im. ii. 7. IMiil. ii. 17. 


That St. Paul preached the gospel both at Phi- 
lippi and Thessalonica, cities of Macedonia, we are 
particularly informed in the History of the Acts s. 
And that he did so, is fully evident from the Epistles 
yet extant, which he wrote to the churches in those 
two cities ''. We are told in the Acts, that St. Paul 
and his fellow-labourer Silas were stripped, scourged, 
imprisoned, and their feet made fast in the stocks at 
Philippi \ He gives a plain, though brief hint of 
these his sufferings in his Epistle to the Philip- 
pians^. He speaks of them more largely in his First 
Epistle to the Thessalonians : Even after that we 
had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, 
as ye know, at Philippi, we were hold in our God 
to speah unto you the gospel of God^. Hence it is 
also evident that he preached first at Philippi, and 
afterwards at Thessalonica, according as is related 
in the History of the Acts'". Which is likewise 
confirmed by the latter part of his Epistle to the 
Philippians : Now, ye Philippians, know also, that 
in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed 
from Macedonia, no church communicated with me 
concerning giving and receimng, hut ye only. For 
even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto 
my necessities ". 

It is said in the same History, that the unbeliev- 
ing Jews at Thessalonica, moved with envy, took 

s Ch. xvi, i2,&c. xvii. i.&c. 

'' Phil. i. 30. I Thess. i. 5, 6, 7. ii. i, 2, 3, &c. and iv. i,&c. 
2 Thess, iii. 7, &c. See Polycarp's Epistle to the Philippians, 
who mentions Paul's having preached there, and his writing an 
Epistle to them. 

' Ch. xvi. 22,23, 24. ^ Ch. i. 30. ' Ch. ii. 2. 

"1 Ch. xvi. and xvii. " Ch. iv. 15, 16. 


unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sori^ 
and gathered a company^ and set all the city on 
an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and 
sought to bring them (i. e. Paul and Silas) out to 
the people. And when they found them not, they 
drew Jason and certain brethren unto the riders 
of the city, crying. These that have turned the 
world upside down, are come hither also; whom 
Jason hath received : and these all do contrartj to 
the decrees of CcBsar, saying that there is another 
king, one Jesus. And they troubled the people, 
and the rulers of the city, when they heard those 
things. And wheti they had taken security of Ja- 
son, and of the others, they let them go°. St. Paul, 
in his First Epistle to the Thessalonians, wrote not 
long after he had left them, upon the account of 
these troubles, referring to them, says, that they re- 
ceived the word in much affliction p ; and tells them, 
that he had sent Timothy to them to establish them, 
that no man should be moved by these afflictions ; 
adding, I^or verily, when we were with you, we 
told you before that we should suffer trihidation ; 
even as it came to pass, and ye know ^. The ma- 
gistrates, having taken bail of Jason and other bre- 
thren, it is probable, soon after brought them to a 
trial for the crimes laid to their charge, and set a 
severe fine upon them. Thus much seems intimated 
by the apostle when he says in this Epistle, For ye, 
brethren, became followers of the churches of God, 
ivhich in Judaea are in Christ Jesus ; for ye also 
have suffered like things of your own comitrymen, 
even as they have of the Jews'. And one part of 

" Acts xvii. 5 — 9. 1' (;h. i. 6. 'i Ch. iii. i — 4. "■ Ch. ii. 4. 


their sufferings, he tells us, in his Epistle to the 
Hebrews, was the spoiling of their goods ^. And in 
his Second Epistle to the Thessalonians he highly 
commends the Thessalonians for their patient bear- 
ing these afflictions, as matter of great praise and 
glory : So that we ourselves glory in you in the 
churches of God for your 'patience and faith in all 
your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure *. 
We are told in the Acts, that the unbelieving Jews 
of Thessalonica followed St. Paul to Beroea, stirred 
up the people against him, and drove him from 
thence also ". And indeed it appears from that His- 
tory, that it was the constant practice of the unbe- 
lieving Jews in every place to oppose the apostle 
and his companions in preaching the gospel, and to 
stir up the people and magistrates against them ". 
And this is no other than what the apostle himself 
fully declares in his First Epistle to the Thessalo- 
nians, where, speaking of the Jews, he says, Who 
both lulled our L,ord Jesus, and their ow7i pro- 
phets, and have persecuted us, and please not God, 
and are contrary to all men: forbidding us to 
speak to the Gentiles that they might he savedv. 
He represents it as their general practice to hinder 
him and his companions from preaching to the Gen- 
tiles the great things of their salvation. 

J. 11. We read in the History of the Acts, that 
St. Paul preached in the city of Corinth z. This is 
fully confirmed to us by the two Epistles he wrote 

* Heb. X. 34. ' Ch. i. 4. " Ch. xvii. 13, 14. 

" See Acts xiii. 50. xiv. 5. 19. xviii. 12. and xix. 9. 
> Ch. ii. 15, 16. ' Ch. xviii. 


to the Corinthians ^ We find also in the same His- 
tory, that Apollos, a convert from among the Jews, 
an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, did 
for a time teach at Corinth, after St. Paul had 
planted the gospel there ^. This is confirmed by St. 
Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians : JJ^io then 
is Paul, and who is Ajmllos, but ministers hy 
wJiom ye believed^ even as the Lord gave to every 
man f I have planted, Apollos watered^. Apollos 
was with St. Paul at Ephesus when he wrote this 
letter ''. And many years after he orders Titus to 
bring him on his way ^. Crispus, the chief ruler of 
the synagogue, is mentioned in the Acts as one of 
St. Paul's converts at Corinth *'. And in his First 
Epistle to the Corinthians, St. Paul acknowledges 
that he had baptized Crispus ^. 

Sosthenes, another chief ruler of a synagogue, 
(whether he succeeded Crispus when he became a 
Christian, or was chief ruler of another synagogue 
in the same city ; for probably there were several 
synagogues in so large a city,) is spoken of in the 
Acts as having been beaten by the Greeks before 
the judgment-seat ''. The learned differ in their in- 
terpretation of this passage. Some take Sosthenes 
to have been at this time an enemy to the apostle 
Paul, and his accuser, though afterwards a convert 
to him ; and that he was beaten by the unbelieving 
Greeks, in consequence of the opinion given by the 

■' I Cor. iv. 15. ix. i, 2. xi. 2. 23. and xv. i. 2 Cor. i. 15. xii. 
14. and xiii. 12. 

'' Acts xviii. 27. and xix. i. '^ Ch. i. 12. and iii. 4, 5, 6. 

'' 1 Cor. xvi. 12. *' Tit. iii. 13. f Ch. xviii. 8. 

^ Ch. iv, 14. '' Ch. xviii. 17. 


judge, and because he had troubled the proconsul 
with so impertinent a cause'. Others think, that 
he at this time favoured Christianity, and suffered 
for that reason, the Greeks beating him at the insti- 
gation of the unbelieving Jews ^. However it were, 
he afterwards joined with St. Paul in sending the 
First Epistle to the Corinthians : Paul, called to be 
an apostle of Jesus Christ, and Sosthenes our bro- 
ther ^ unto the church of God which is at Corinth"^. 

We are informed in the Acts that St. Paul was 
bred to a handicraft trade, and exercised it both at 
Corinth and at Ephesus ''\ That he wrought at his 
trade in the city of Corinth, to the end he might 
not be burdensome to the new converts, and there- 
by prevent the success of the gospel, he more than 
once intimates in his Epistles to the Corinthians ". 
That he did the same at Ephesus, is also evident 
from his First Epistle to the Corinthians, where he 
says. Even unto this present hour we labour, ivork- 
ing with our own hands°. For he dwelt at Ephe- 
sus when he wrote that Epistle p ; and it was cus- 
tomary for him to do the same thing in other cities, 
as appears from his Epistles to the Thessalonians 'i. 

f 12. We read in the Acts that St. Paul lived a 
considerable time at Ephesus, preaching the gospel 
there, and that with very great success ; and that a 
tumult being raised by Demetrius, he and his com- 
panions were in no little danger of being torn to 

' Beza, Grotius, &c. ^ Martyrologia, Chrysostom, Basnage, 

Ann. p. 654, pr. et fin. ' i Cor, i. i. 

"' Ch. xviii. 3. and x.\. 34. 

" 1 Cor, ix. 6. 12. 15. 18. 2 Cor. xi. 7. 9. and xii, 13. 
" Ch. iv, II, 12. P See i Cor. xvi. 8. 19. 

'i I Thess. ii, 9. 2 Thess. iii, 8. 


pieces by the multitude, or thrown to the wild 
beasts ^ In agreement herewith he says in his First 
Epistle to the Corinthians, / will tarry at Ej)hesus 
until Pentecost. For a great door and effectual is 
opened unto me, and there are mamj adversaries ^. 
And the tumult happening soon after he had sent 
away this Epistle, he informs them of it in the be- 
ginning of the Second : JVe would not^ t)rethren, 
have you ignorant of our troiible which came to us 
in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above 
strength, insomuch that ive despaired even of life *. 
We learn from the Acts that St. Paul went 
through the region of Galatia ". That he did not 
travel there as an idle spectator, but that he 
preached the gospel to the inhabitants, and made 
many converts, is evident from what is said in the 
same History upon his coming there a second time, 
that he went over all the country of Galatia and 
Phrygia in order, strengthening all the churches ". 
Agreeably hereto, St. Paul writes in his Epistle to 
the churches of Galatia, Ye know how through in- 
firmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you 
at the first. And my temptation, ivhich ivas in my 
flesh, ye despised not nor rejected; hut received 

me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus 

For I hear you record, that, if it had heen pos- 
sible, ye would have pinched out your own eyes, 
and have given them to me y. That St. Paul and 
his companions were at Troas, and that upon his 
arrival there another time in his return from Mace- 
donia, a church of Christians assembled on the first 

■■ Ch. xix. I. 9. 10. 19. 20. 29. 30. '^ Ch. xvi. 8, 9. 

' Ch. i. 8. " Ch. xvi. 6. '= Ch. xviii. 23. 

> Ch. iv. 13, 14, 15, and see ch. i. 6. 


day of the week to break bread, and hear him preach, 
is related in the History of the Acts ^ And he him- 
self says in his Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 
Furthermore, wlieyi I came to Troas to preach 
Chrisfs gospel, and a door was opened unto me of 
the Lord, I had no rest in my spirit, because I 
found not Titus my brother : but tahing my leave 
of them, I ivent from thence into Macedonia ^. 
This happened when he left Ephesus upon the ac- 
count of the tumult, and was upon his road to Ma- 
cedonia. His calling there at this time is omitted by 
St. Luke ^. It is probable he might make some few 
converts the first time of his being there. He had 
far greater success the second ; for now he says a 
door was opened mito him; and upon his third 
coming, in his return from Greece and Macedonia, 
we read of a church of Christians assembled on the 
first day of the week. 

f. 13. We have a large account in the Acts, that 
St. Paul, being apprehended by the Jews in the 
temple at Jerusalem, was rescued out of their hands 
by the chief captain Lysias. And being detained 
in prison more than two years in Judaea, was at 
length sent by Festus the governor to Rome, and 
lived there as a prisoner two years ^. His imprison- 
ment in Judaea is mentioned by himself in his 
Epistle to the Hebrews; For ye had compassion 
of me in my bonds ^. His imprisonment at Rome 
is very frequently spoken of in his Epistles to Phi- 
lemon ^, the Colossians ^, the Ephesians ^, the Phi- 

'^ Ch. xvi. 8. and xx. 6, &c. ^ Ch. ii. 12, 13. 

'' See Acts xx. i. •^ Ch. xxi. and xxvii. <• Heb. x. 34. 

^ Ver. 9, 10, 13. f Ch. iv. 3.18. 

s Ch. iii. I. iv. I. and vi. 20. 


lippians ^. In this last he says, 31// bonds i?i Clunst 
are manifest in all the jmlace, and in all other 
places '. And afterwards in the same chapter. Unto 
you it is given in the hehalf of Christ, not only to 
believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake ; 
having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and 
now hear to be in me^. Whence it appears that 
part of the church of Philippi were at this time in 
prison for the sake of the gospel. For this is the 
conflict, these are the sufferings, which they had 
seen the apostle undergo w^hen he was among them 
at Philippi ; and this is the conflict or sufferings 
which they now heard he underwent at Rome. And 
at the conclusion of the same Epistle it is said, All 
the sai?its salute you, chiefly they that are of Ccb- 
sar's household ^ 

^. 14. St. Paul is represented as saying in his de- 
fence before the Roman governor Felix, Now after 
many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and 
offerings '". This is abundantly confirmed in his Epi- 
stles. Therein he gives directions to the churches that 
their alms may be ready, writing to the Corinthians 
thus : Now concerning the collection for the saints, 
as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, 
even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let 
every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath 
prospered him, that there be no gatherings when 
I come. And when I come, ivhomsoever you shall 
ajyprove by your letters, them ivill I send to bring 
your liberality unto Jerusalem. And if it be meet 
that I go also, they shall go with me. Now I will 

'' Ch. i. 7. and iv. 61. ' Ch. i. 13. ^ Ver. 29, 30. 

' Phil. iv. 22. '" Acts xxiv. 17. 


come unto you, when I shall pass through Mace- 
do7iia '^, After this, that he might raise the emula- 
tion of the wealthy Corinthians, he sets before them 
the great readiness and cheerfulness which the poor 
Macedonians shewed in making their contributions 
when he came to them : Moreover, brethren, ive 
make known unto you the grace of God bestowed 
on the churches of Macedonia ; how that hi a 
great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy 
and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches 
of their liberality. For, to their power, I bear re~ 
cord, yea, and beyond their power they were will- 
ing of themselves ; praying us unth much entreaty 
that we woidd receive the gift, and take upon us 
the fellowship of the ministering to the saijits ". 
And in his Epistle to the Romans declares, he 
was just then setting out from Corinth on his jour- 
ney to Jerusalem on this errand : But ?iow I go 
unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. For 
it has pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to 
make a certain contribution for the poor saints 
which are at Jeruscdem p. 

^. 15. There is not the least mention of the cities 
of Coloss or Laodicea in the History of the Acts, 
which History leaves St. Paul prisoner at Rome for 
the first time. During this imprisonment he wrote 
his Epistle to the Colossians. And in that declares, 
that he never had been either with them or at Lao- 
dicea. For thus he writes ; / woidd that ye knew 
what greed conflict I have for you, and for them 
at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my 

" I Cor. xvi. I — 5. " 2 Cor. viii. !■ — 4. See also ch. ix. i — 5. 
P Ch. XV. 25, 26. See Gal. ii. 10. 
C C 


face hi the flesh ''. There is no account in the Acts 
of St. Paul's having been in Italy or at Rome till 
he was carried there a prisoner from Judaea. It is 
. said indeed of him the last time he was at Ephesus, 
Paul imrposed in the spirit^ when he had passed 
through Macedonia and Acha'ia, to go to Jeru- 
salem, saying, After I have been there, I must 
also see Rome '", This is exactly agreeable with what 
he writes in his Epistle to the Romans, which, as 
we observed before, was sent from Corinth when 
he was just entering upon his journey to Jerusalem 
with the collection for the poor saints. In the be- 
ginning of the Epistle he tells them, it was his de- 
sire and prayer to come to them ; that he longed 
to see them ; that he had often pmrposed to come ; 
and that, as much as in him lay, he teas I'eady to 
preach the gospel to them that are at Rome also ^. 
And at the end of the Epistle says, it was his reso- 
lution to come to them immediately after he had 
been at Jerusalem : Jf^ienever I take my jotirney 

into Spain, I will come to you hut noiv I go to 

Jerusalem to minister unto the saints When 

therefore I have performed this, and have sealed 
unto them this fruit, I will come hy you into 
Spain ^ 

In the same Epistle he says, From Jerusalem, 
round about to Illyricum, I have fully jircached 
the gospel of Christ '^. Which is a general confir- 
mation of the whole history of his travels in the 
book of Acts. For in that History he is said to 
have gone through Syria, Cilicia, and most if not all 

'' Ch. ii. I. "^ Acts xix. 21. ^ Rom. i. 10 — 15. 

' Ch. XV. 24 — 28. . " Rom. XV. 19. 


the countries in Peninsular Asia, to have come over 
into Europe, and to pass through Macedonia into 
Greece. Now Beroea, the last city in which St. Paul 
is said to have preached in Macedonia, could not be 
far from Dessaretia, which was part of the ancient 
Illyricum ^. At the same time I must own, it does 
not seem at all improbable to me, that St. Paul 
might, in one of his journeys through Macedonia, 
(for St. Luke relates his passing through Macedonia 
three times,) make an excursion into some of the 
nearer parts of Illyricum, and plant the gospel 
among them, though not taken notice of in the 
History of the Acts y. It is certain, however, that 
during St. Paul's life the gospel was preached even 
in the remoter parts of Illyricum, and not impro- 
bably by the apostle himself after his release from 
his first imprisonment at Rome. For in his Second 
Epistle to Timothy, written when he was a second 
time prisoner in that great city, he informs him 
that he had sent Titus to Dalmatia ^'. 

St. Paul says, in his First Epistle to the Corin- 
thians, Unfo the Jews I hecame as a Jew, that I 
might gain the Jews ''. Of this we have three in- 

'^ Vid. Cellar. N. O. Ant. 1. 2. c. 13. vol. i. p. 656— 660. 

y All that St. Luke says of his second journey is this : And 
when he had gone over those parts, and had given them much ex- 
hortation, he came into Greece. Acts xx. 2. All that is said of his 
third journey is, that whereas he intended to have sailed from 
Greece into Syria, knowing that the Jews laid wait for him, he 
changed his mind, and passed through Macedonia. Ver, 3, &c. 
At either of these times might he make an excursion into Illyri- 
cum, but most probably in his second journey. 

'"' 2 Tim. iv. ro. ^ i Cor. ix. 20. 

c c 2 


stances in the Acts of the Apostles ; his circumcising 
of Timothy ^, his shaving his head at Cenchrea ^, and 
purifying himself in the temple with those four men 
which had a vow on them 'I 

^ Ch. xvj. 3. " Ch. xviii. j8. "^ Ch. xxj. 24. 26. 


A further confirmation of 'principal facts. 

THROUGH the good providence of God there 
are some pieces yet extant, written by the persons 
concerned in the facts recorded in the History we 
are treating of, which contain an ample confirma- 
tion of ah.iost all the things related therein, as I 
have already in great part made appear to you. I 
would now further observe the agreement there is 
between the Acts and the Epistles in the names 
and descriptions of St. Paul's fellow-labourers and 

\. \. In the History of the Acts, Barnabas is 
joined with St. Paul in the commission given him 
to preach the gospel to the Gentiles ^ And St. Paul, 
writing to the Galatians, says, When James, Ce- 
phas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, per- 
ceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave 
to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship ; 
that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto 
the circumcision^. It is related in the Acts, that 
Paul and Barnabas having preached to the Gentiles, 
and being returned to Antioch, after some time spent 
there, went up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders 
to consult them whether it were necessary to circum- 
cise the Gentile converts*^? This journey is mentioned 
by St. Paul in his Epistle to the Galatians : Then 
fourteen years after (i. e. after his conversion) / 

'• Ch. xiii. 2, 3, 4. ^ Gal. ii. 9. Vid. 1 Cor. ix. 6. 

<^ Acts xiv. 26. 28. and xv. 2. 

c c fi 


went up again to Jerusalem with Barnahas, and 
took Titus with me also. And I went up hy reve- 
lation, and communicated unto them that gospel 
which I preach among the Gentiles. And adds 
afterwards, that he would not suffer Titus, being a 
Greek, to be circumcised'^. 

When Paul and Barnabas were sent to the Gen- 
tiles, they took with them John, whose surname 
was Mark, to be their minister ^ ; who left them 
after they had passed through the island of Cyprus ^ 
When they were setting out a second time to preach 
to the Gentiles, and visit the churches they had 
planted, Barnalias determined to take Mark again 
with them ; but Paul thought it not proper, because 
he had so soon quitted them, and went not with 
them to the work. Upon which they parted, Bar- 
nabas taking Mark, and sailing to Cyprus &. Mark 
is several times named in the Epistles. In one of 
them he is said to be sister's son to Barnabas^*, 
which may explain to us the reason why Barnabas 
was so much set upon taking him with them. The 
apostle Peter, speaking of him, calls him my son i ; 
probably because converted by him to the Christian 
faith. He was with St. Paul at Rome during his 
first imprisonment there, and had by that time fully 
regained his esteem. For both in his Epistle to 
Philemon "", and in that to the Colossians, he calls 
him his fellow-lahonrer ^ ; and desires of the Colos- 
sians, that if he came among them, they would give 
him a kind reception. That, notwithstanding his 

Gal. ii. I, 2, 3. <^ Acts xii. 25. and xiii. 5. 

Ch. xiii. 13. s Acts xv. 36, &c. '' Col. iv. 10. 

I Pet. V. 13. ^ Ver. 24. ' Ch. iv. 1 1. 


quitting Paul and Barnabas, he afterwards travelled 
over a great part of Asia Minor, or what is now 
called Anatolia, in order to establish the churches 
in the faith, and was thereby personally known to 
them, seems probable from the salutations sent from 
him to them by St. Peter in his Epistle ™. And the 
great value that St. Paul retained for him even to 
the last, is expressed in his Second Epistle to Ti- 
mothy : in which, not long before his martyrdom, 
and when all had forsaken him, he writes to Ti- 
mothy thus : Tahe Mark, and bring him with thee; 
for he is profitahle to me for the ministry '^. 

When Paul and Barnabas parted, it is said in the 
History of the Acts, that Paul tooJe tvith him Silas^, 
who is described as a chief man among the bre- 
thren P. There is frequent mention made of him as 
a companion of St. Paul in this his second journey 
to preach to the Gentiles ^ : and he is said to have 
been with him particularly at Corinth ^ and at Thes- 
salonica ^. This doubtless is the same person who in 
the Epistles is named Sylvanus ; for Silas is no other 
than a contraction of the Latin name Sylvanus, 
which manner of contraction is usual among the 
Greeks ^ St. Paul, in his Second Epistle to the 
Corinthians, expressly says, that the Son of God was 
preached among them hy him and Sylvamis'^. Syl- 
vanus is also joined with St. Paul in the two Epistles 
directed to the Thessalonians, which were sent to 
them from the city of Corinth the first time of St 

'^ I Pet. V. 13. "2 Tim. iv. ii. " Ch. xv. 40 

P Ch. XV. 22, 32. '1 Acts xvi. 19. 25. 29. aud xvii. 10. 14. 15 
■" Acts xviii. 5. * Acts xvii. 4. 

^ Vid. Wolfii Curaj in Act. xv. 27. and in Rom. xvi. 8. 14, 
Grot, in 2 Cor. i. 19. and Act. xiii. 9. " 2 Cor. i. 19 

C C 4 


Paul's being there '''. Sylvanus is likewise named by 
St. Peter as the person by whom he sent his EpistleJ'; 
which Epistle is directed to the Christian converts 
in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, Bithynia ^. 
That Silas accompanied St. Paul through the region 
of Galatia, we are expressly informed in the History 
of the Acts '\ Jt is highly probable he afterwards 
went through the other countries here mentioned, 
making of converts, and establishing them already 
made ; for he is described by St. Peter as a faithful 
brother unto them'\ 

The next person mentioned in the History, as 
St. Paul's companion, is Timothy, a certain disciple 
whom he met at Lystra, well repo7'te(l of hy the 
brethren there ; him would Paul have to go forth 
with him '". And we read of him as accompanying 
St. Paul in various places '^. Agreeably hereto, St. 
Paul in his Epistles styles him his work fellow^: 
for he worhetli the worh of the Lord, as I also 
do^. Our brother and minister of God, and our 
fellow-labourer in the gospel of Christ ^. And says 
to the Philippians, Ye hiow the proof of him, that, 

^ I Thess. i. I. 2 Tliess. i. i. Compare i Thess. iii. i. 2.6. with 
Acts xvii. 14, 15. and xviii. 5. >' i Pet. v. 12. 

^ I Pet. i. 1. chiefly to the heathen converts. See i Pet. ii. 10. 
and iv. 3. \'id. Wolf. Cur. in i Pet. i. i. •' Ch. xvi. 6. 

'' A faithful brother unto you, as I suppose. 1 Pet. v. (2. The 
words ui 'MylZ,ojjt.oi.i, translated as I suppose, do not signify any 
doubt, but a judgment passed upon full evidence. Vid. Raphael. 
Annot. Xenoph. ]). 202. Albert! Observ. p 302. Rom. iii. 28. 
and viii. 18. Peter went through these coimtries preaching the 
gospel, and probably Sylvanus might accomj)any him. Vid. Hier- 
onyni. de Scriptor. Eccles. c. i. and Epiph. H«r. 27. n. 6. 

^ Acts xvi. I, 2,3. •' Acts xvii. 14. xviii. 5. xix. 22. and xx. 4. 

'^ Rom. xvi. 21. ' I Cor. xvi. to. '- 1 Thess. iii. 2. 


as a son with the father^ he hath served with me in 
the gospeV\ In other places he calls him his son. 
In his Epistle to the Corinthians, My beloved son, 
and faithful in the Lord\ And in the Epistles he 
writes to him, My own son in the faith, my dearly 
beloved soti ^. We read in the History of the Acts, 
that Timothy was with St. Paul the first time he 
preached at Corinth ^ The same thing is confirmed 
by St. Paul in his Second Epistle to the Corinthians"^ 
We read also, that he was with him at Ephesus ". 
And the same appears from St. Paul's First Epistle 
to the Corinthians °. We are told in the Acts, that 
he sent Timothy from Ephesus into Macedonia i'. 
And we learn from St. Paul's Epistles, that he was 
several times employed by him as his messenger to 
the churches ^1; and particularly, that at the same 
time he was sent from Ephesus to Macedonia, he 
was to go also to Corinth '". We learn from St. Paul's 
Second Epistle to the Corinthians, that he was with 
him, whatever part of Macedonia or Greece he was 
in, when he wrote that letter ^ : and that he accom- 
panied him thence to Corinth, seems plain from his 
Epistle to the Romans ^ And, agreeably hereto, we 
find him in the History of the Acts attending St. 
Paul from Greece into Asia, together with the other 
trustees, for the collection made for the poor saints 
in Judaea ". He was afterwards with St. Paul at 

'' Ch. ii. 22. ' I Cor. iv. 17. "^^ i Tim. i. 2. 2 Tim. i. 2. 

^ Acts xviii. 5. ■" Ch. i. 19. " Acts xix. 22. 

° Ch. iv. 17. This Epistle was written from Ephesus, as you 
may see ch. xvi. 8, 9. p Acts xix. 22. 

^ I Thess. iii. 2. Phil. ii. 19. 23. 1 Tim. i. 3. 
' I Cor. iv. 17. -2 Cor. i. i. ' Ch. xvi. 21. 

'■' Ch. XX. 4. 


Rome % was a prisoner about the time St. Paul was 
released, but soon after set at liberty >\ 

The next persons we read of in the History as 
St. Paul's companions, were Aquila and his wife 
Priscilla, wlio came from Rome, and settled at Co- 
rinth ; in whose houSe at Corinth St. Paul took up 
his lodging, and wrought with them at their trade 
of tentmaking ^ , They afterwards accompanied St. 
Paul to Ephesus, and being left by him there, in- 
structed Apollos in the doctrine of Christ more fully 
than he had been before taught it, and recommended 
him to the brethren at Corinth'*. In agreement 
herewith St. Paul, when the second time at Ephesus, 
writing his First Epistle to the Corinthians from 
thence, sends their salutations : Aquila and Pris- 
cilla salute you much in the JLord^ with the church 
that is in their house^. Not long after they re- 
turned to Rome : for when St. Paul was at Corinth 
the second time, and wrote thence his Epistle to the 
Romans, he says, Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my 
helpers in Christ Jesus, who havejbr my life laid 
down their own nechs ; unto whom, not only I give 
thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. 
Likewise greet the church that is in their house '^. 
They had, it is probable, a considerable number of 
servants to carry on their trade ; these doubtless 
were taught by them the Christian faith, by which 
means they had a church in their own house where- 

'' Phil. i. I. Col. i. I. rhilem. i. v Heb. .\iii. 23. 

' Ch. xviii. 2, 3. '^ Ibid. ver. 18, 19. 24 — 27. 

^ Ch. xvi. 19. 

•= Rom. xvi. 3, 4, 5. It is not unlikely they might expose their 
lives to preserve that of St. Paul in the tumult made at Ephesus, 
or when he fought with the wild beasts there. 


ever they settled. They were removed to Ephesus 
again, when St. Paul was a second time prisoner at 
Rome : for he sends his salutations to them in his 
Second Epistle to Timothy '^. 

It is said in the History of the Acts, that St. Paid 
sent into Macedonia, J'rom Ephesus, two of them 
that ministered unto him, Timothy and Erastus^. 
In St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans is mention made 
of Erastus as chamberlain of the city of Corinth ^. 
And in his Second Epistle to Timothy he writes, 
E7'astus abode at Corinth p. We read in the His- 
tory, that Demetrius, and his workmen at Ephesus, 
seized upon Gains and Aristarchus, men of Mace- 
donia, Paul's companions in travel'^. Agreeably 
hereto St. Paul, in his Epistle to Philemon, calls 
Aristarchus his fellow-labourer '\ The same Ari- 
starchus is said in the History to have accompanied 
St. Paul from Greece into Asia '% and afterwards 
from Judaea to Rome '. And that he was with St. 
Paul in his first imprisonment at Rome, appears 
from his Epistles : for he sends his salutations thence 
both to the Colossians and to Philemon ; and in his 
Epistle to' the former calls him his fellow-2)riso7ier^. 
There is a Gains also mentioned by St. Paul in his 
Epistles. In his First Epistle to the Corinthians he 
says that he baptised Gains " ; and in his Epistle 
to the Romans, which was written from Corinth, he 
calls him his host ; Gains mine host, and of the 
whole church, saluteth you °. This Gaius, from the 

•' Ch. iv. 19. ^ Ch. xix. 22. 'Rom. xvi. 23. 

e Ch. iv. 20. '' Acts xix. 29. ' Ver. 24. 

^ Acts XX. 4. ' Acts xxvii.2. 

t" Philemon 24. Col. iv. 10. " Ch. i. 14. 

° Rom. xvi. 23. 


description here given of him, seems to be the same 
person to whom St. John directs his Third Epistle p. 
But whether he be the same spoken of in the Acts 
is wholly uncertain, because it is a name that was 
very common at that time. And whether St. Luke 
meant the same person by the Gains whom he de- 
scribes as a Macedonian *i, and the Gaius which he 
says was of the city of Derbe ^ is equally uncertain. 
I am inchned to think they were two persons, 
though some have imagined that he might arise 
from a family in Derbe, be born or bred at Thessa- 
lonica, and have his settled habitation at Corinth ^ ; 
a conjecture or invention arising wholly from an 
unwilHngness to allow that there were two persons 
of the same name among St. Paul's companions, 
whereas it is certain there were more than one 
couple of the same name among the twelve chosen 
by our Lord ^ 

We read in the History of the Acts, that Sopater 
of Beroea accompanied St. Paul from Greece to Asia". 
And we find by the Epistle to the Romans, that 
Sosipater (which doubtless is the same name) was 
with St. Paul at Corinth, when he was setting out 
on that journey ^. Tychicus went also with St. Paul 
from Greece into Asia >, and probably accompanied 
him in his voyage to Rome : for he is sent by St. 
Paul from Rome, when prisoner there the first time, 
with the Epistles to the Ephesians and the Colos- 
sians : J^uf that ye also may know my affaires, and 
how I do, Tychicus^ a beloved brother, and faith- 
fid minister in the Lord^ shall make knotvn to you 

1' Vid. ver. 5, 6. 'i Acts xix. 29. ^ Acts xx. 4. 

•> Vid. Benson in loc. ' Matt. x. 2, 3, 4. " Ch. xx. 4. 

^ Ch. xvi. 21. > Acts XX. 4. 


aU things, wJiom I have sent unto you for the same 
purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that 
he might comfort your hearts^. Trophimus was 
another who went with St. Paul out of Greece into 
Asia^ and is mentioned in the History as being 
with him at Jerusalem ''. All that we find of him 
in the Epistles is, that he was with St. Paul in the 
island of Crete after his release from his first impri- 
sonment at Rome. For he tells Timothy in his 
Second Epistle, Trophimus have I left at Miletum 
sick •=. It is evident from the style, that St. Luke, 
the author of the History of the Acts, accompanied 
St. Paul from Greece into Asia ^, and afterwards 
from Jerusalem to Rome'^. And we accordingly 
learn, from the Epistles to the Colossians and to 
Philemon, that he was with him at Rome : for he 
sends his salutation to both, styling him in the one 
Epistle the beloved physician \ in the other hhfel- 
low-lahourer s. He was also with St. Paul during 
his second imprisonment at Rome : for he writes to 
Timothy in his Second Epistle, Only Ltike is with 
me ^\ 

§. 2. St. Peter is represented in the History of the 
Acts as saying to the Jews, Unto you first God, 
having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to Itless 
you, in turning away every one of you from his 
iniquities i : and St. Paul, It was necessary that the 
word of God should have been first spoken unto 
you : but seeing ye put it from you, lo, we turn to 

'• Eph. vi. 2 1, 22. Col. iv. 7, 8. ■' Acts xx. 4. 

^ Acts xxi. 29. " Ch. iv. 20. 

'' Acts XX. 5, 6, 13. and xxi. i, &c. ^ Acts xxvii. i, &c. 

f Col. iv. 14. e Philem. 24. '' Ch. iv. 1 1. 

' Ch. iii, 26. 


the Gentiles "^ ; and in another place, Your blood be 
upon your own heads ; I am clean : from hence- 
forth I ivill go 2into the Gentiles ^ And our Sa- 
viour is introduced as saying to his disciples, But 
ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost 
is come upon you : and ye shall be witnesses unto 
me both in Jeimsalem, and in all Judcea, and in 
Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth"^. 
Agreeably hereto, we find in the Gospel of St. Mat- 
thew, that the first conimission given by our Saviour 
to his disciples was restrained to the Jews : Go not 
into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of 
the Samaritans enter ye not : but go rather to the 
lost sheep of the house of Israel". After his resur- 
rection the commission was extended to all nations^. 
And St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans, alluding 
hereto, says, / am not ashamed of the gospel of 
Christ: for it is the jmwer of God unto salvation 
to every one that believeth ; to the Jew first, and 
also to the Greek p. 

In the History of the Acts our Saviour says to 
his disciples, that they should be ivitnesses unto him 
unto the uttermost part of the earth ^ : and St. Paul 
to the Athenians, Hut now God commandeth all 
men every where to repent '^ : and unto the Jews at 
Antioch in Pisidia, L,o, ice turn to the Gentiles: 
for so hath the Lord commanded, saying, I have 
set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou 
shotddst be for salvation to the ends of the earth ^ 
And, agreeably hereto, we find in the Gospels of St. 

k Ch. xiii. 46. ' Ch. xviii. 6. "' Ch. i. 8. 

" Matt. X. 5, 6. See also ch. xv. 24. " Matt, xxviii. 19. 

P Ch, i. 16. 1 Ch. i, 8. ' Acts xvii. 30. 
' Acts xiii. 46, 47. 


Matthew and St. Mark, that the disciples were en- 
joined by our Lord to go teach all nations *, to go 
into all the world, and preach the gospel to every 
creature'^. And St. Mark informs us that they 
actually did so : Theij ivent forth and preached 
every where ^. We learn the same also from the 
Epistles of St. Paul, who writes to the Romans, that 
the sound of the gospel preachers was gone into 
all the earth, and their words unto the end of the 
worlds. And in another place, that the gospel mys- 
tery is made known to all nations ^. And to the 
Colossians, that the gospel was preached to every 
creature which is under heaven ^. 

That the gospel was spread through Pontus, Ga- 
latia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, St. Peter is 
witness, who directs his Epistles to the Christians 
inhabiting those parts ^. That it had also reached 
Babylon, is evident from the salutation of that 
church which he sends to the Christians to whom 
his Epistle is directed ^. Tacitus the Roman histo- 
rian, a heathen, informs us, that at the time when 
Nero burnt the city, i. e. about the time when St. 
Peter and St. Paul were put to death, or, it may be, 
a year or two before, there were many Christians at 
Rome, ingens multitudo, a large multitude were in- 
formed against as being Christians '^. Clemens Ro- 
manus, mentioned by St. Paul in his Epistle to the 
Philippians as his feUow-lahourer , ichose name was 
written in the hook of life ^, not long after the apo- 
stle's decease, sent an epistle in the name of the 

' Matt, xxviii. 19. " Mark xvi. 15. ^ Ver. 20. 

y Ch. X. 18. ^ Ch. xvi. 25, 26. ^ Ch. i. 6. 23. 

•' T Pet. i. I. •= I Pet. V. 13. ■' Ann. 1. 15. c. 44. 
^ Ch. iv. 3. 


church of Christ at Rome to the church of Corinth, 
in which he says, that " St. Paul preached both in 
" the east and in the west, taught the whole world 
" righteousness, and travelled to the utmost hounds 
" of the west '^." And in another epistle to the same 
church intimates that the Christians were become 
more numerous than the Jews ^. Ignatius, bishop 
of Antioch in Syria, who was sent by the emperor 
Trajan to Rome, in order to be exposed to the wild 
beasts, in his way thither was met by the bishops, 
elders, and other messengers of various churches. 
The epistles which he wrote upon this occasion to 
the churches at Ephesus, Magnesia, Tralles, Rome, 
Philadelphia, and Smyrna, are yet extant. In that 
to the Ephesians he speaks of bishops as appointed 
unto the utmost bounds of the earth''. PHny, a 
heathen author, who was governor of Bithynia, a 
Roman province under the emperor Trajan, writing 
to the emperor, informs him, " that there were many 
" Christians of every age, of every rank, and of l)oth 
' sexes, in the province ; that the Christian religion 
" was spread not only in the cities, but through the 
" villages and countries ; that their temples were 
" forsaken, their sacred solemnities omitted, and 
" that there was seldom found any one to buy their 
" sacrifices '." 

Justin Martyr, who wrote his Apology for the 
Christians about the year of Christ 140, in his Dia- 
logue with Trypho the Jew, says, " that there is no 
" sort of men whatsoever, whether Barbarians or 
" Greeks, or by what names soever they are called, 

' §. 5. -' §. 2. 'Ewej eprj/jLOt; ihoKfi ehai aito Toil @eov o Xaoi; 

'^ ^. 3, fill. i L. 10. ep. 91. 


" whether they be such as are said to dwell in wag- 
" gons, or without houses, or are such as dwell in 
*' tents, and feed cattle, there is no sort among whom 
*' prayers and thanksgivings are not offered to the 
" Father and Maker of all things through the name 
" of the crucified Jesus ^." Irenaeus, who flourished 
not many years after, and had, when a youth, been 
a hearer of Polycarp, who was ordained bishop of 
Smyrna by the apostles^, speaks of the Christian 
church as spread through the whole world to the 
utmost ends of the earth ^. " Neither," says he, 
" have the churches which are seated in Germany 
" received or delivered down any other faith, neither 
" the churches which are in Spain, nor those which 
" are in France, nor those in the east, nor those in 
" Egypt, nor those in Libya, neither those which 
" are placed in the midst of the world "." Again ; 
" The vineyard is not now fenced in, but spread 
" through the whole world, the church is renowned 
" every where, the winepress is dug in all places, 
*' and there are in every place those who receive the 
*' Spirit"." And fully intimates that there were 
Christians in Caesar's court v. 

Clemens Alexandrinus, who flourished in the same 
century, and received the Christian doctrine from 
those who immediately succeeded the apostles^, 
speaks of the knowledge of Christ as being spread 

■* P. 345, C. ' Iren. 1. 3. c. 3. §. 4. Euseb. H. E. 1. 3. 

c. 36, pr. "^ L. I. c. 10. §. I. " Ibid. §. 2. 

" L. 4. c. 36. §. 2. 

P Ibid. c. 30. §. I, Quid autem et hi, qui in regali aula sunt, 
fideles, nonne ex iis, quae Csesaris sunt, habent utensilia ? 

n Strom, 1. i. p. 322. Euseb. E. H, 1. 6. c. 13. 
D d 


through the world swifter than the sunbeams "^ : and 
says of the Christian faith, " There is not a place 
" where it is not ^" And again ; " The doctrine of 
" our Master did not continue in Judaea alone, as 
" philosopliy in Greece, but was spread through the 
" whole world, persuading whole houses, and every 
" one singly of those who hearkened to it in every 
" nation and town, and in every city both of Greeks 
" and Barbarians, bringing over to the truth not a 
" few of the philosophers themselves ^" 

Tertullian, who flourished at the same time, in 
the Apology which he makes for the Christians, ad- 
dressed to the Roman powers ", says, " We are but 
" of yesterday, notwithstanding we have filled all 
" things that belong to you, your cities, your isles, 
" your forts, your municipia, your councils, the camp 
" itself, your tribes, your decuries, the jDalace, the 
" senate, the forum ; we have left you only your 
" temples. Had we broke off from you, and gone 
" to some remote part of the world, you would have 
" been confounded at the loss of so great a number 
" of subjects, and our very forsaking you would have 
" been a punishment. Without doubt you would 
" have been affrighted at your own solitude, at the 
" cessation of business, at the silence and astonish- 
" ment thence arising, and would have been to seek 
" for persons whom you might gov^ern '^." In an- 
other place he speaks of Christians as being almost 

■■ Cohort, ad Gentes, p. 3. 1. 17. p. 86. 1. 10, &c. 

=* Strom. 1. 2. p. 445. 1. 8. ' Strom. 1. 6. p. 827. 1. 10. 

" Si non licet vobis, Romani imperii antistites, in aperto et 
edito, in ipso fere vertice civitatis praesidentibus ad judicandum, 
palam dispicere, &c. * C. 37. 


the major part of every city in Africa, more parti- 
cularly of Carthage ; and intimates, that persons 
even of the highest rank in that city were Chris- 
tians y. And in his book against the Jews, " In 
" what other person have all nations believed, unless 
" in Clnist, who is already come ? Whom else have 
" the nations believed ? The Parthians, the Medes, 
" the Elamites, the dwellers in Mesopotamia, Ar- 
" menia, Phrygia, Cajypadocia, and the inhahitants 
" ofPontus, Asia, and Pamphylia, those who live 
" in Egypt, and the country of Afric heyond Cy- 
" rene ; and the strangers of Rome, and the Jews 
" then at Jerusalem, and the rest of the nations. 
*' As now the different sorts of the Getuli, the many 
" coasts of the Mauri, all the countries of Spain, and 
" the several nations of Gaul, and the places of the 
" Britons, inaccessible to the Romans, but subject to 
" Christ, and of the Sarmata?, and of the Daci, and 
" of the Germans, and of the Scythians, and of 
" many nations added to them % and of many pro- 
" vinces and islands unknown to us, and which we 
" cannot enumerate. In all which places the name 
" of Christ, who is already come, reigns." And a 
little after, " The name and reign of Christ is ex- 
'' tended every where ^" 

Origen, who succeeded Clemens Alexandrinus in 
the catechetical school at Alexandria, and flourished 
in the beginning of the third century, writing against 

> Ad Scapulam, c. 2, prop. fin. et 5. 

''■ In Pamelius it is, Et abditarum multarum gentium ; but in 
Rigaltius, additarum, which I think the better reading of the two. 

" Jdv. Judaos, c. 7. Christi regnum et nomen ubique porrigi- 
tur, ubique creditur, ab omnibus gentibus supra enunieratis coli- 
tur, ubique regnat, ubique adoratur. 

D d 2 


Celsus, tells him, " That the whole world almost un- 
" derstands the Christian doctrine much better than 
" the opinions of the philosophers. For who is ig- 
" norant that Jesus was born of a virgin, and was 
" crucified, and rose again ? Who is ignorant of the 
" judgment preached, which will punish sinners, and 
" reward the righteous, as they have deserved ? 
" Even the doctrine of the resurrection, though 
" laughed at by those who believe not, is commonly 
" known ^" And again ; " We see that the voice 
" of the apostles of Jesus is gone out into all the 
" earth, and their words to the end of the world '^." 
And again ; " Who will not be astonished, that, go- 
" ing back to the gospel history, hears Jesus, when 
" on earth, teaching and saying. This gospel shall 
" be preached hi the ivhole world foi' a testimony 
" to them, and to the Gentiles ; when he sees, ac- 
" cording to what was foretold by him, the gospel 
'■'■preached in every part under heaven, both to 
" Greeks and Barbarians, to the wise and the 
" unwise ? For the word, being spoken with power, 
" hath vanquished the whole human nature, nor is 
" there any sort of men which have not received 
" the doctrine of Jesus 'V It were easy to proceed, 
and bring more testimonies of this sort, but these 
shall suffice ®. 

'^ L. I . p. 7 . 2%eSov 'navTo(; toZ Koa-fAOv iyvcoKoroi; to K-^pvyj^a Xpio-Tia- 
vuv fMiXKov '/) la, ro7q (piXoao(poti apiayj'^-va: ilva. -yap, k. t. K. 

<^ P. 48, fin. et 49, pr. 

'^ L. 2. p. 68, fin. 69, pr. Ovk ea-n n yivai; i^uv avdpdirui/, e/cwe- 
<p€vye Ttapaie^aaOcci t»;v 'l-^aoZ hihcuTKaKtav. 

*= Quis locus in terra est, quern non Christi possederit nomen ? 
Qua sol oritur, qua occidit, qua erigitur se])tentrio, qua vergit au- 
ster, totum venerandi numinis majestas implevit. Firniicus de 


J. 3. We have observed from the History of the 
Acts, that the preaching of the gospel met with 
much opposition in almost every place, and that the 
Christians suffered severe persecution ; and have 
shewn that this is abundantly confirmed in the Epi- 
stles of St. Paul *. The same thing is evident from 
the First Epistle of St. Peter, who speaks of the 
Christians in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and 
Bithynia, as at that time under great trials and suf- 
ferings s ; and exhorts them, not to think that some 
strange or uncommon thing had happened to them, 
but what usually befell all who professed themselves 
Christians, hnowing, that the same afflictions are 
accom'plished in your brethren, which are in the 
world. And also from the Epistle of St. James, who 
says to the Christians, JDo not lich men opp7'ess 
you, and draw you before the judgment seats '^ f 
and exhorts them to a patient bearing of sufferings, 
after the example of the holy prophets i. We find 
the same thing fully confirmed by the heathen 
writers of that time. Suetonius, who wrote the Lives 
of the twelve Caesars, informs us, that Nero inflicted 
punishments on the Christians, whom he describes 
as a sort of men that held a new superstition ^. 

Tacitus, the Roman historian, is more particular, 
telling us, " that Nero, neither by his acts of gene- 
" rosity, nor by the methods he took to appease the 

Errore profan. Religionum, p. 42. Vid. et Observat. Elmenhorstii 
in Arnob. p. 51. 

*■ Heb. X. 32, &c. xii. 4, &c. xiii, 3. Gal. iii. 4. i Cor. iv. 9 — 13. 

s I Pet. i, 6, 7. iii. 14. 16, 17. iv. 12, 13. and v. 9, 10. 

h Ch. ii. 6. ' Ch. V. 10, II. 

^ Afflicti suppliciis Christiani, genus hominuni siiperstitionis 
novae ac maleficse. 'Ner. 16. 3. 11. 


" gods, being able to soften the people, and silence 
" the report that the city was set on fire by his com- 
" mand, to put an end to this rumour, procured that 
" the Christians should be accused of burning it, as 
" knowing them to be persons universally hated 
" upon the account of their religion ; and therefore, 
" that any crimes, how gross soever, laid to their 
" charge, would be easily and readily believed ; and 
" inflicted on them the most exquisite punishments. 
" The first who were taken up, having confessed 
" themselves Christians, afterwards a great multi- 
*' tude by their information were added to them, 
" not so much because they were guilty of burning 
" the city, but because of the hatred of mankind 
" against them. Scoffs were added to their miseries 
" while dying. They were clothed with the skins 
" of wild beasts, and torn to pieces by the dogs : or 
" else they were crucified, or being spread all over 
" with combustible matter, were set on fire ; and 
" when daylight was in, were made use of for noc- 
" turnal lights. Nero gave up his own garden for 
" this spectacle, and exhibited the games of the 
" circus, mixed with the crowd in the habit of a 
" charioteer, or standing in a chariot. Hence com- 
" passion arose towards the sufferers, though cri- 
" minal, and deserving to be made examples of the 
" severest punishments, as being put to death, not 
" for the sake of public utility, but to gratify the 
" cruelty of a single person." It is not improbable 
that Tacitus himself was an eyewitness of what he 
here relates. In the same place he informs us that 
the Christian religion had its rise in Judaea, and 
spread from thence to the city of Rome '. 

' Aniial. 1. 15. 44. p. 662. 


Eusebius tells us that the Christian doctrine shone 
with so great lustre in the reign of Domitian, that 
even the heathen authors ™ did not think much to 
give an account in their histories of the persecution 
and martyrdoms that happened at the latter end of 
his time. They write, that together with many 
others, Flavia Domitilla, niece of the consul Cle- 
mens, was banished to the island of Pontia, for con- 
fessing herself a Christian "". And this is confirmed 
by Dion Cassius, who, in the remains we have of 
him from Xiphilinus, says, that the crime laid to 
her charge was atheism " ; a crime usually imputed 
to the Christians by the heathen, because they re- 
fused to sacrifice to their gods p. Dion says, that 
Clemens the consul was put to death, charged with 
the same crime. And from the description given 
him by Suetonius ^, it is not a little probable that he 
was a Christian. 

Pliny, governor of Bithynia, writes to the em- 
peror Trajan, that " forasmuch as he had never 
" been present at the trials of Christians, he was at 
" a loss to know how far they were wont to be pun- 
" ished. He was in doubt whether there ought not 
** to be a difference made with regard to the age of 
" the persons, and whether there ought not to be 
" room left for repentance ; whether the name of 
" Christian, though free from crime, should itself be 

"^ Bruttius is cited as one of these in hh Canon Chron. ad an. 
2II2. "E.H. 1. 3. c. i8. ° L. 67. p. 766, A. 

P Vid. Euseb. E. H. 1. 4. c. 13. Athenag. p. 4. Not. Spencer. 
ad Orig. p. 4. 

1 Contemptlssimae inertise. Dom. 15. i. TertuUian says, Alio 
qiioque injuriarum titulo postuiamur, et infructuosi in negotiis 
dicimur. Apol. c. 42, pr. Vid. Pitisci not. in Sueton. 
D d 4 


" punished, or the crimes adhering to the name." 
He then relates to the emperor the manner he had 
proceeded in : "I asked them, whether they were 
" Christians? If they confessed it, I asked them a 
" second and a third time, threatening to punish 
" them. If they persevered in the confession, I or- 
" dered them to be put to death. For whatever 
" were the thing they confessed, I had no manner 
" of doubt with myself that stubbornness and in- 
" flexible obstinacy ought to be punished. There 
" were others of like madness, whom, because they 
" were Roman citizens, I marked down to be sent 
" to the city." He afterwards acquaints the em- 
peror, that although he had examined some of them 
by torture, " he could find them guilty of nothing 
" but a perverse and excessive superstition ''." So he 
calls their persisting in a denial to sacrifice to idols, 
and resolute adherence to the worship of Christ. 
Their constancy and fidelity to their Saviour is, in 
the eye of a heathen, an obstinate and unbounded 
superstition. Trajan, in the answer he writes to 
Pliny, approves his conduct, and decrees, " that for 
" the future Christians should not be sought for ; 
" but if they were accused and convicted, they 
" should be punished. Nevertheless, if they would 
" deny themselves Ho be Christians, and supplicate 
" the heathen deities, they should be pardoned ^" 

Joannes Malela has preserved a letter of Tiberi- 
anus, governor of Palaestina Prima, directed to the 
same emperor, wherein he tells him, " that he was 
" wearied out in punishing the Christians, and put- 

■■ Sed nihil aliud inveni quam superstitionem pravam et ininio- 
dicam. '^ L. lo. ep. 97, 98. 


" ting them to death ; that they came and informed 
" against themselves, that they might suffer death ; 
" and though he took pains with them, exhorting 
*' and threatening them, they still continued that 
*' practice ^" Upon which Trajan ordered that no 
more Christians should be put to death. 

Serennius Granianus, proconsul of Asia, wrote to 
the emperor Adrian, " that it appeared not just to 
" him to put the Christians to death, to gratify the 
" clamours of the people, without any crime being 
" laid to their charge, and without a hearing." And 
the emperor decreed, that for the future Christians 
should not suffer, unless convicted of some crime 
against the laws. This rescript of the emperor to 
Minucius Fundanus, who succeeded Serennius, is 
mentioned both by Justin Martyr and by Melito, in 
the Apologies which they offered for the Christians 
to the emperor Marcus Antoninus ". 

This emperor, in an epistle he wrote to the states 
of Asia, says, " that his father received letters from 
" many governors of provinces concerning the Chris- 
" tians : to whom he wrote in answer not to dis- 
" turb them, unless they attempted any thing against 
" the state : and that many had sent to himself con- 
" cerning them, and that he returned answer ac- 
" cording to the decree made by4iis father." He 
adds, " Should any notwithstanding continue to give 
" trouble to the Christians as such, let him that is 
" accused be freed from the indictment, although it 
" appear that he be a Christian, and let the accuser 

* Chronographia, p. 356. ' AttiKajA-ov rif^upovi/.€voi; km (povevuv tov(, 

" Euseb. E. H. 1. 4. c. 8, 9. 26. Just. Mart. p. 99. 


" be punished \" Epictetus the philosophery, Arrian 
his scholar, Luciaii the dialogistz, and M. Antoninus 
the emperor and philosopher % all of them mention 
the readiness of Christians to lay down their lives 
for their profession, and blame it as inconsiderate- 
ness, rashness, obstinacy, madness. 

It is needless to add to these the testimonies of 
Christian writers. It were easy otherwise to tran- 
scribe the apologies that were made by them to the 
powers then in being, and to lay before you a long 
list of sufferers, together with the various kinds of 
tortures inflicted, from the ancient martyrologies : 

^ Euseb. E. H. 1. 4. c. 13. et Just. Mart. p. 100. 

y Eira. vTio [Auviai [Aev hwaral t«j ovtu ^lareO-^vai itpoi; Tovra, Kot vito 
edovi o» Ta'AiAaToi. Arrian. Epict."!. 4. c. 7. 

^ TlezilKoca-t yap airoiii 01 KaKolaifAOi/f;, to fiev oXon aOdvaTOi eaeaScci, 
Kou ^nia-eaBoot rov ale) yjpwov' iictp /ca) Kara(l)povovcri toZ 6a,va.Tov, Koi 
€koVt€? aiiToli tTTjSjSo'ao-jv ot woXaoj. De Morte Peregrini, p. 763, fin. 
et 764. In the same place Lucian confirms what is related in 
the Acts, that the Christians had all things in common, Acts ii. 
44. and iv. 32, 34. "ETretra Se vo/AofleTTj? trpuTO^ eneta-tv ainov^, i( 
aSeX(/)o< wavTf? elev aKK'^Xuv' eTinhav aita^ TTpo^dvTe(;, Oeovi [xev rclii 'EX- 
X^jviKoli; a.napvfj<7icvTai, tov Se avea-KoXoTtia-f^ivov tKeTvov a-ocjua-TVjv avruv •npoir- 
Kvvuffi, Ka« KaTo. rovt; iKeii/ov vo/xoi;? ^lucri' Karacppovovariv ovv dizoMTo:)/ i. 
t(Tfj<; Koi Koiva, ijyovvTai. P. 764. He also describes, in the mos 
lively manner, the great readiness of Christians in that age ti 
assist and support each other when under persecution : 'Ewei S 
otv eSeSero, ot Xpiartavot a-vi^(popa,v itoiovy.ivoi to ixpSiyjA^, itdvTa tKtvovv 
i^apTida-ai iteipdiAtvoi avrov' e»V i'jre) rovTo -qv dtvvaTov, '^ye aXXti dfpairti: 
wao-a ov iiapepyut;, aXXa ^Iv a-itavlrj eylyvtTO' Koi ewOev /xev ev$vt; '/jv opqi 
iiapa, tS teai^uTepia irepif/.evovTa ypd'cha, %'/j|3a? Tivaq, koli itailla opcpava 
0( Se iv TiXii avTuv, ku) o-vviKcidev^ov evhov /x€t' uvtoZ, ticupdiipomei rot 
Zeo'iA.ofpvXaKai' eha leTirva ttotKiXa eiVe/co/Af^eTO, ko.) Xoyot kpol airuv fXt- 
yovTO, K. T. X. P. 762, fin. 763. 

** Mv) KoiTcc ypiX^v irapdcTa^iv, u^ oi XpKTTiavo), dXXa, XfXoyia-fjUvut; 

i. e. Non ab obstinatione mera pro Christianorum more, sed n> 
mortem obeas considerate composite,&c. De Rebus su is, 1. 11. §.3 


I shall therefore mention but one passage or two. 
Clemens of Alexandria, who had a thorough know- 
ledge of what the philosophers taught, than whom 
no one was better read in the Greek learning, says, 
" Should any magistrate forbid the Greek philoso- 
" phy, it would immediately vanish. But our doc- 
'• trine, even from the first preaching it, both kings 
" and tyrants, and tetrarchs and governors, together 
" with all their guards, and infinite numbers of men 
*^ forbad, warring against us, and endeavouring what 
" in them lies to cut us off; but it flourishes even 
" the more. For it does not die away as a human 
" doctrine, but remains as what cannot be hin- 
" dered '^." Celsus, having compared the danger 
which Christians underwent to that which befell 
Socrates, Origen answers, " that the Athenians im- 
" mediately repented of what they had done to So- 
" crates. And as to Pythagoras, there was no grudge 
" retained against him after his death, and the Py- 
" thagoreans had their schools for a long time in 
" Magna Graecia. But as for the Christians, the 
" Roman senate, the emperors, the army, the peo- 
" pie, and the relations of those who believe, made 
" war against the Christian doctrine, and would 
" have suppressed it, vanquished by the onset of so 
" great a number, had it not by a divine power kept 
" up its head, and gained ground, so as to overcome 
" the whole world, which rose up against it ^." 

^ Strom. 1.6. p. 827. 1. 16. •= L. i. p, 5, fin. et p. 6. 



A further confirmation of principal facts. 

IT is related in the History of the Acts, that our 
Saviour went about doing good, and healing all 
that were oppressed of the Devil ^ ; that he was 
approved of God hy miracles, ivonders, and signs, 
which God did hij him in the midst of the Jewish 
nation ^ : that after his ascension to heaven, he con- 
ferred the Holy Ghost on his disciples, and enabled 
them to do the greatest works <^ ; that according to 
the commission he had given them, they went forth 
to preach the gospel, and usually wrought signs and 
wonders wherever they came, and communicated 
the miraculous gifts of the Spirit to their converts. 
These things, I have already shewn, are fully con- 
firmed by the Gospels of St. Matthew, St. Mark, and 
St. John, and by the Epistles of the apostles Paul, 
Peter, and James. It remains, that I shew how far 
they are confirmed by other writers. 

That such gifts as these were certainly exercised 
in the first ages of Christianity, we have as many 
witnesses as there were converts to the Christian 
religion. For can it be imagined that persons 
would forsake the religious customs and practices 
they had been educated in, and embrace the Chris- 
tian tenets, and this with the loss of all that was 
dear to them, and with the utmost hazard of their 
lives, if they had not seen the wonders wrought 
which we are speaking of? We have also the ex- 

" Ch. X. 38. "Ch. ii. 22. ^ Ch. ii. 33. 


press testimony of most, if not all the Christians, 
who have left any thing in writing behind them. 
St. Barnabas, who was the companion of the apostle 
Paul, in that short Epistle of his, which yet re- 
mains, speaking of Christ, says, " And finally teach- 
" ing the people of Israel, and doing many signs 
" and wonders among them, he preached to them, 
*' and shewed the exceeding great love which he 
*' bare towards them <^," Quadratus, in an Apology 
which he made for the Christians, and presented to 
the emperor Adrian, affirms, "that our Saviour's 
" works were real and durable ; that the persons 
" who were healed and raised to life by him con- 
" tinned living and well, not only during his life, 
" but after his decease, for a long space of time, so 
** that some of them have reached even to our 
" days ® ;" i. e. to the first part of the life of Quadra- 
tus, if not also of the emperor Adrian. Justin Mar- 
tyr, in the Apology he offered for the Christians to 
the emperor Antoninus, and the Roman senate, says, 
" And that our Christ should heal all manner of 
" diseases, and raise the dead, was prophesied. Hear 
*' ye the words : At his coming the lame shall leap 
" as the stag, and the tongue of the dumb shall be 
" eloquent; the blind shall receive their sight, and 
" the lepers shall be cleafised, and the dead shall 
" be liaised, and shall walk. And that he did these 
" things, you may learn from the memoirs or regis- 
" ters of what happened under Pontius Pilate ^." 

Tertullian, in his Apology, directed to the Ro- 
man magistrates, says of Christ, " that he by a 

«' §. 5. e Euseb. E. H. 1. 4. c. 3. 

' Apol. 2. p. 84, b. c. Vid. et p. 76, c. 


" word's speaking cast out devils, gave sight to the 
" blind, cleansed the lepers, healed the paralytic, re- 
" stored the dead to life by a word ; made the ele- 
" ments themselves obedient, calming the storms, 
" and walking upon the seas." He afterwards adds, 
" that all these things did Pilate make known to 
" Tiberius Caesar &." Lucian the martyr also boldly 
appeals to the Roman Annals in the speech which 
he made to the emperor Maximinus at Nicomedia 
concerning the miraculous appearances at our Lord's 
crucifixion^. Clemens of Alexandria makes frequent 
mention of the miracles performed by our Saviour 
and his disciples. In one place he says, " A proof 
" that the Son of God was our Saviour, are the pro- 
" phecies which went before, proclaiming him ; also 
*' the testimonies concerning him which accompanied 
" his birth. Moreover, after his ascension, his mira- 
" culous powers both preached and openly shewn ^ :" 
in another place, having enumerated from the apostle 
Paul the gifts of the Holy Spirit, asserts of the apo- 
stles, " that they were filled with all these gifts '^." 

Origen, in his book against Celsus, says, "that 
" persons were at the beginning made Christians by 
" miracles, being induced more by the wonders they 
" saw wrought to leave the religious customs and 
" tenets they had been educated in, and make choice 

s C. 2 1. p. 20, B. et fin. Vid. et c. 5. p. 6, C. 

'' Vid. Iluet. Dem. Evang. p. 30, C. This speech is preserved 
in Ruffinus. 

' Strom. 1. 6. §. 15. p. 801. 1. 17. 

^ Strom. 1. 4. §. 21. p.625. 1. 13. Vid. et Paed. 1. i. c. 2. p. loi, 
pr. etc. 10. p. 15 I. 1. 31. et Strom, 1. 2. §. 11. p. 454. 1. 32. et 
1. 4. §. 5. p. 575. 1. 23. et 1. 6. §. 6. p. 762. 1. 31. et p. 764. 1. 19. 
et p. 827, pr. et Prophet. Eclog. p. 993. §. 15, 16. 


" of others quite foreign from their own, than by 
" teaching and exhortation : for if it behove us to 
" use the appearance of reason concerning the first 
" gathering of the Christian church, we shall say, 
" that it is not credible, either that the apostles of 
" Jesus, being private and illiterate persons, should 
" have the boldness to preach to men the Christian 
" rehgion any other way than by the miraculous 
" works bestowed upon them, and the gift of ut- 
" terance, that they might open and explain its doc- 
" trines and institutions in an easy and intelhgible 
" manner ; or indeed that those who heard them 
" should be changed from their own country man- 
" ners and customs, which had been practised among 
** them for many ages, to others so foreign and dif- 
" ferent from the opinions which they had been 
" educated in, v/ithout some very great power and 
" miraculous operations moving them thereto ^" 
Arnobius, writing to the heathen, who imputed our 
Saviour's miracles to art magic, says to them, " Can 
" ye shew, can ye point out any one of all the ma- 
" gicians that ever were in tlie world who has done 
" any thing like to Christ, even the thousandth 
" part ■" ?" 

The Christian writers of the first ages not only 
thus mention the wonderful works wrought by our 
Saviour and his apostles, but they assure us also, 
that the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit were 
continued down to them, and that many great and 
miraculous works were performed in their time. 

' L. 8. p. 408, paulo infra mecl. 

™ Poteslis aliquem nobis designare, monstrare ex omnibus illis 
niagis, qui unquam fuere per saecula, consimile aliquid Christo 
millesima ex parte qui fecerit ? 1. 1. p. 25. 


Clemens Romanus sufficiently intimates that these 
gifts were in the church of Corinth at the time he 
wrote to them ^. Ignatius plainly signifies the same 
thing of the church of Smyrna in the Preface of his 
Epistle to them". Ignatius himself p and Poly- 
carp *i were both endued with the spirit of pro- 
phecy : and so was Quadratus ^. Justin Martyr, in 
his Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, says, " With us 
" the prophetical gifts remain even to this day ^." 
And a few pages after, " With us are to be seen 
" both men and women having gifts from the Spirit 
" of God ^" And in one of his Apologies presented 
to the Roman emperor and senate, he says, " that 
" Jesus Christ came into the world for the benefit 
" of those who believe, and for the destruction of 
" demons, you may even now learn from those 
" things which happen under your view. For many 
" of our Christians, adjuring the demons by the 

" Ep. 1 . §. 48. Vid. Wake's Prsef. p. 1 16. 

° 'EXerii^evri iv navTi yjx.^'i(j\t.a-vi avvcnep'/iTcp ova-rj icavToi; ^apia-fJM- 


1' Vid. Philfid. §. 7. Trail. §. 5. Martyr. Sancti Ignat. and 
Wake's Praef. p. 1 19, fin. 

'! Polycarp. Martyr. §. 12. Euseb, E. H. 1. 4. c. 15. p, 107, D. 

'' "^Ov ai/.cc raTf ^iKiirirov 6vyaTpa.<n Trpo^tjTf/coU yjxplaf/.a.Ti Xoyoq e^a 
8ia7r/)€if/a<, Eiiseb. E. H. 1. 3. c. 37, pr. In the same chapter he 
tells us, that the successors of the apostles, leaving their own 
country, travelled into foreign parts, and having laid the founda- 
tion of faith, and appointed pastors, removed still to other coun- 
tries and nations, the divine favour and assistance accompanying 
them, 'EirtJ Ka) ToZ Oeiov iivevfAaroi eiffex* tots Sj' uvtSv irXfTarat izaaa- 
8o?o< Swa/AfK Ivrifyavv, for the Spirit of God wrought very many mi- 
racles by them. 

' P. 308, B. med. 

' P. 315, B. med. Vid. et p. 247, A. fin. p. 254, B. 258, A. 
302, A. et 311, B. * 


" name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under 
" Pontius Pilate, have healed, and now do heal, 
" many that were possessed by demons, through the 
" whole world, and in your city, disappointing and 
" chasing away the demons which had possessed 
" them ; and this when they could not be healed by 
" any other exorcists and enchanters and sorcerers "." 
Theophilus of Antioch ^ and Tatian >' speak also of 
demoniacs as exorcised and cured by Christians in 
their days. 

Irenaeus, the disciple of Polycarp, writes thus : 
" The true disciples of Jesus, receiving favour from 
" him, perform works for the benefit of other men, 
" as every one hath received the gift from him. For 
" some cast out demons truly and really, so that 
*' oftentimes the persons, who were cleansed from 
" those evil spirits, have themselves believed, and 
" are in the church. Others have the knowledge 
" of things future, and visions and prophecies. 
" Others, by the laying on of their hands, heal the 
" sick, and restore their health. Also, as we have 
" before said," (for he had spoken of this but just 
before, c. 31. }. 2.) "even the dead are raised, and 
" have continued with us many years. And indeed 
" the miraculous gifts are not to be numbered which 
" the church throughout all the world hath received 

" P. 45, A. "" Ad Autol. 1. 2. p. 87, C. 

y Contra Graecos, p. 155, C. D. " There are diseases and coni- 
" motions of the matter which is in you. The demons ascribe 
" the causes of these to themselves, when they happen, entering 
" when the disease takes you. Sometimes also they shake the 
" habit of the body by a storm of their own madness : who, being 
" rebuked by the word of God's power, depart affrighted, and the 
" diseased person is cured." 

E e 


" of God, and daily exerciseth for the benefit of the 
" nations, in the name of Jesus Christ, who was cru- 
" cified under Pontius Pilate, neither deceiving any, 
" nor taking money of any z." And in another place 
he says, " We have heard many brethren in the 
" church, who had the gift of prophecy, and spake 
" all manner of languages by the Spirit, and revealed 
" the secrets of men for public good, and expounded 
" the mysteries of God ^." 

Tertullian frequently speaks of the power that the 
Christians in his time had over the demons, and of 
their dispossessing persons who were tormented and 
distempered by them. In a treatise of his concern- 
ing the public sports and recreations of that time, 
written with an intention to prevent the Christians 
from attending them, he says, " What greater plea- 
" sure than that thou treadest under foot the gods 
" of the nations, that thou castest out demons, that 
" thou dost cures, that thou obtainest revelations, 
" that thou livest to God ^ ?" In his book directed 
to Scapula the Roman governor, he says, " We not 
" only reject demons, but we convict them ^ and 
" bring them daily to open shame, and expel them 
" out of men, as is known to very many ^.'' In the 
same book he tells the governor, that the notary of 
a certain advocate, that the near kinsman and young 
son of two other advocates were relieved from the 
possession of demons by Christians. He then adds, 
" And how many men of note and rank (for we 

* L. 2. c. 32. §. 4. " L. 5. c. 6. §. I. 

^ De Spectac. c. 29. 

■^ That is, by making them confess themselves demons, and not 
deities. Vid. Apol. c. 23, D. 
'• C. 2. p. 69, C. 


" speak not of the vulgar) have been delivered from 
" demons, or cured of diseases ! Even Severus himself, 
" the father of Antoninus, was mindful of the Chris- 
" tians ; for he diligently sought out Proculus, a 
" Christian, who was surnamed Torpazion, who had 
" formerly cured him by anointing him with oil. 
*' And he had him in his palace to the day of his 
" death, whom Antoninus also very well knew '^." 
The Severus and Antoninus here spoken of were 
L. Septimius Severus and Antoninus Caracalla his 
son, two Roman emperors in TertuUian's time. In 
the Apology which he makes to the Roman powers, 
he calls upon the magistrates to make trial of the 
power which the Christians had over the heathen 
deities : " Let any one, who is known to be pos- 
" sessed by a demon, be brought into your courts of 
" judicature, that spirit, being commanded by any 
" Christian to speak, shall as truly confess himself a 
" demon, as he elsewhere falsely professed himself 
" a god. Let there be also one of those produced 
*' who are thought to be inspired by some deity, 
" who, breathing upon the altars, receive the deity 
" from the smell of the sacrifices, who with ructa- 
" tion attempt, and with panting predict ; that very 
" heavenly virgin herself, who promises rain ; that 
" very jEsculapius the inventor of medicines ; unless 
" they confess themselves demons, not daring to lie 
" to a Christian, spill ye there the blood of that 
" most insolent Christian V 

^ C. 4. p. 71, A. 

^ C. 23. p. 22, D. Vid. et p. 23, C. et c. 27, prop. fin. et c. 37, 
prop. fin. et c. 43. et c. 46. p. 35, C. de Spectac. c. 26. de Idolo- 
lat. c. It, prop. fin. de Coron. Mil. c. 11. p. 117, C. de Anima, 
c. I. p. 264, C. et c. 57. p. 305, fin. 
E e 2 


Origen, in his book against Celsus, speaking of 
the arguments for the Christian religion, mentions 
prophecies and miracles. The last, he says, "are 
" proved to have been performed, as from many 
" other things, so from that the footsteps of them 
" still remain among those who live according to 
" the will of Christ"." In another place, Celsus 
having objected to the descent of the Holy Ghost in 
the form of a dove, Origen answers, " that a proof 
" of the truth of this were the miracles done by our 
" Saviour, and those which were done after by his 
" apostles. For without wonders and miracles they 
" could not have persuaded their hearers to leave 
" the religious customs they were educated in, and 
" receive with hazard, even that of their lives, new 
" doctrines and new systems. Moreover the foot- 
" steps of that Holy Spirit, which was seen in the 
" form of a dove, are yet preserved among Chris- 
" tians. They cast out demons, and perform many 
" cures, and have visions of things future, according 
" to the will of Christ '\" In another part of the 
same work he says, " It is evident, that since the 
" coming of Christ the Jews are entirely forsaken, 
" and have none of those things which were an- 
" ciently esteemed by them venerable, nor have they 
" any proof that the Deity is among them. For 
" there are no more any prophets nor any miracles 
" among them : of which there are large footsteps 
" found among Christians. And if we, who say it, 
" may be believed, we have ourselves seen them^" 
Again he says, " We can shew an unspeakable num- 
" ber of Greeks and Barbarians who believe in Je- 

K L. 1 . p. 5, ])rop. fin. '' P. 34, fin. ' L. 2. p. 62. 1. 16. 


" sus, some of whom give proofs, that by their faith 
" they have received a wonderful power, in those 
" they cure ; calling over those, who need healing, 
" no other than the supreme God, and the name of 
" Jesus, Avith his history. For by these things have 
" we seen many freed from grievous diseases, and 
" distractions of mind, and madness, and ten thou- 
" sand other evils, which neither men nor demons 
" have cured '\" 

Octavius, a Christian, is represented in Minucius 
Felix as saying to Caecilius, a heathen, " All these 
" things the most of you know, that the demons 
" themselves confess of themselves, as often as they 
" are by us driven out of the bodies they possess, by 
" the torture of words, and the burning of prayer ; 
" Saturn himself, and Serapis, and Jupiter, and all 
" the demons you worship, being overcome with 
" pain, speak out what they are. Nor is it to be 
" thought they lie, to their own disgrace, especially 
" when some of you are standing by. Believe their 
" own testimony, that they are demons : believe 
" them confessing the truth of themselves. For, 
" being adjured by the true and only God, they un- 
" willingly continue ' in the miserable bodies they 
" possess, and either immediately depart, or leave 
" them by degrees, according as the faith of the 

^ L. 3. p. 124, paulo post med. Vid. et 1. i. p. 7, paulo post 
initium ; et p. 20. 1. 13. et p. 53. 1. 1 1. et 1. 2. p. 80. 1. 40. et 
1.3. p. 127. 1. 25. et 1. 7. p. 334. 1. 18. et p. 337. 1. 27. etp, 376, 
prop. fin. et 1. 8. p. 417, pr. 

' Some copies here have inhorrescunt instead o\' inhcerescunt, and 
miseri for miseris : " They miserably shake for fear, against their 
" wills, in the bodies they possess." 

E e 3 


" sufferer assists, or the miraculous power of the 
" person who cures enforces ™." 

Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, who suffered mar- 
tyrdom in the year of Christ 258, makes use of the 
very words of Minucius Felix, who also was an 
African orator, and probably flourished not many 
years before Cyprian. In one of his treatises Cy- 
prian, speaking of demons, has these words : "These, 
" being adjured by us, immediately yield, and con- 
" fess, and are compelled to go out of the bodies 
" they possess. You may see them, through our 
" words, and the operation of a hidden power, beaten 
" with scourges, roasted with fire, racked by the ad- 
" dition of an increasing punishment, howl, groan, 
" deprecate, confess whence they came, and when 
" they depart, even those who worship them stand- 
" ing by, and hearing them. And they either go 
" out of the bodies they possess immediately, or for- 
" sake them by degrees, as the faith of the patient 
*' assists, or the miraculous power of him that cures 
" enforces "." In his Epistle to Magnes he says, 
" Even at this day the Devil is scourged and burnt 
" and racked by our exorcists by means of human 
" words and the divine power °." In another piece 
of his, written to Demetrian, a heathen judge, 

^ P. 89. ed. Oxon. 1631. Lugd. Bat. 1672, p. 252, &c. In this 
and the like following passages is a plain allusion to the methods 
of bringing persons to confession by the question or torture. The 
three usual instruments of torture were the wheel, the fire, and 

the scourge. Prohinc tormentis Veritas eruenda. Nee mora, 

cum ritu Graeciensi ignis et rota, turn omne fiagrorum genus in- 
feruntur. Jpul. Metamorph. 1. 3- p. 48, fin. Vid. Pricaei Not. 

" De Idol. Van. p. 14. ° P. 187, fin. 


greatly imbittered against the Christians, he says, 
" O that you would hear and see them when they are 
" adjured by us, and tortured with spiritual scourges, 
" and by the torment of words cast out of the bodies 
" they possess, when howling and groaning, through 
" human words and the divine power, feeling scourges 
" and stripes, they confess a judgment to come. Come 
" and know that the things which we speak are 
" true." And a little after, " You shall see stand 
" bound, trembling, and captive, under our hands, 
" those whom you admire and adore as gods p." 

Arnobius, who flourished soon after Cyprian, in 
the decline of the third century, in his dispute 
against the heathens, addresses them thus : " Was 
" he a mortal, or one of us, whose name being heard 
" chases away the evil spirits, imposes silence on the 
" heathen prophets, renders the soothsayers uncon- 
" suited, frustrates the performances of the proud 
" magicians, not, as ye say, with the horror of his 
" name, but by a superior power ^ ?" 

Lactantius, who was scholar of Arnobius, speak- 
ing of the demons, says, " They fear the righteous, 
" that is, the worshippers of God, by whose name 
" being adjured they depart out of the bodies they 
" possess. Being scourged by the words of the 
" righteous, as with whips, they confess not only 
" that they are demons, but also declare their names, 
" those names which in the temples are adored : 
" which thing they most frequently do before their 
" worshippers, not so much to the disgrace of reli- 
" gion, as of their own honour, because they are not 
" able to lie either to God, by whom they are ad- 

P P. 191. Vid. ad Donat. p. 4. ^ L. i. p. 27, med. 

E e 4 


" jured, or to the righteous, by whose words they 
" are tortured. Therefore oftentimes with the most 
" dismal bowlings they cry out that they are scourg- 
" ed and burnt, and will immediately depart"^." In 
another place, speaking of these evil spirits, as insi- 
nuating themselves into the heathen, and stirring 
them up to persecute the Christians, he adds, "When 
" tliey possess the bodies of men, and vex their 
" souls, being adjured by the righteous, they are 
" chased away by the name of the true God ; Avhich 
" being heard, they tremble, cry out, and declare 
" that they are burnt and scourged ; and being in- 
" terrogated, confess who they are, when they came, 
" and how they stole into the man. Thus racked 
" and tortured are they banished by virtue of the 
" divine name ^" 

These are some of the proofs we have of the mi- 
raculous works which were performed in the first 
ages of Christianity by the effusion of the Holy 
Ghost. Such who became Christians after the times 
of the apostles, and had not been present at the 
great things done by them, besides the many un- 
doubted testimonies they received of the truth of 
these facts, had also the satisfaction of seeing large 
remainders of the same power continued in the 
church. This was so convincing an evidence of the 
truth of what is related concerning the miraculous 
gifts conferred by Christ in the Gospels and Acts 
and Epistles, as could leave no room for hesitation. 
Christ had not only exercised this amazing power 

■^ L. 2. de Orig. Error, c. 15. p. 253, fin. 

' L. 5. p. 622. Vid. et Euseb. Demonst. 1. 3. p. 132, D. ct 
T33, a. et contra Hieroclem, p. 514, pr. Firmicum de Error. Prof. 
Kelig. p. 29, fin. ct p. 30. ct p. 61, paulo post med. 


himself, and communicated it to his immediate dis- 
ciples, but had promised that those also who should 
believe on him through their preaching should be 
enriched herewith. When persons were eyewitnesses 
that this promise was fulfilled, could they have a 
more clear proof of the truth of Christ's prophetic 
character? Could they at all doubt of the fulness of 
that power in Christ, of which they saw so many 
instances like rivulets streaming from him ? Such 
a faith, which removed all doubting, the Christians 
at that time needed, to support them under the ca- 
lumnies, reproaches, and persecutions raised against 
them ; under the infamy, losses, imprisonments, tor- 
tures, and deaths they suffered. All the world was 
against them : far the greatest part not a little en- 
raged at them : and if the great facts related in the 
Gospels were not true, they had no foundation for 
hope, they were wholly without comfort. 

It pleased God therefore to continue sensible 
proofs of the truth of Christianity till the earthly 
powers were changed, the Roman emperors became 
Christians, and there was not so unequal a weight 
pressing against the profession of the religion he 
had revealed. The authors I have quoted to prove 
this are such against whose testimony no reasonable 
objection can lie : they have all the marks of sin- 
cerity and integrity. Nor could they conspire to- 
gether to deceive us herein, because they lived at 
different times, and in distant countries ; some in 
Europe, some in Asia, some in Africa : some at the 
latter end of the first century and beginning of the 
second, some in the middle of the second, some at 
the close of the second and commencement of the 


third, some in the middle, and others at the decline 
of the third century. 

These things are said by them, not among them- 
selves only, but to their professed, avowed enemies ; 
not in their private vi^ritings only, but in their public 
Apologies. These things are asserted by them be- 
fore the Roman magistrates, not only the inferior 
judges and governors of provinces, but the emperors 
themselves, and the Roman senate. They not only 
speak of these things as what they had seen done 
themselves, but they tell their enemies that they 
had been very frequently performed also in their 
presence. They proceed yet further, and desire that 
an experiment may be made, call aloud for an open 
trial, and offer willingly to die, if this miraculous 
power be not manifestly shewn. 

These were men not only of eminence in the 
church, but had been so, many of them, among the 
heathen ; had been philosophers, lawyers, orators, or 
pleaders, and distinguished as such ; were wonder- 
fully skilled in all the heathen learning ; understood 
in the greatest perfection the heathen theogony and 
mythology, as well as philosophy. Few of them 
were educated Christians. Far the most of them 
became such in their riper years : and in their writ- 
ings, directed to the heathens, acknowledge that 
they were formerly under all the same prejudices 
which now possess them, and believed all the same 
infamous reports spread concerning the Christians 
which they are now apt to object as so many argu- 
ments against the truth of this religion. These are 
the men whose testimonies I have alleged. And 
since we have the concurring testimony of such 


writers for three centuries together, can there be a 
greater confirmation of the principal facts related in 
the Acts of the Apostles ? 

It may possibly be asked, But what do the ene- 
mies of Christianity say to these things ? Are there 
none but Christians that take notice of these won- 
derful events ? It is much, if there were such amaz- 
ing things performed, that they should not be re- 
corded either by Jews or heathens. To this I an- 
swer, That the enemies of Christianity also plainly 
concur in confirming these facts. It is related in 
the Gospels, that the Pharisees said of our Saviour, 
He casteth out devils hy Beehehub the prince of 
devils * ; the meaning of which is, that he had by 
a superior skill in art magic obtained the assist- 
ance of the most powerful of demons. The succes- 
sors of the Pharisees say the same thing in the Tal- 
mud". Even Celsus the Epicurean, when he in- 
troduces a Jew discoursing against Christ, says of 
him, " that through poverty being obliged to serve 
" for hire in Egypt, he learnt certain powers on 
** which the Egyptians pride themselves, (meaning 
" the magic art,) and returned entertaining great 
" sentiments of himself by reason of these powers, 
" and because of them proclaimed himself a god "." 
This is a fair acknowledgment of the great facts 
done by our Lord, though it is imputing them to a 
wrong principle. The heathen philosophers were 
divided in their opinions concerning the reality of 

' Matt. ix. 14. and xii. 24. Mark iii. 22. Luke xi. 15. 
" Quoted by Huet. Dam. p. 30. §. 6. Vid. et p. 497. §. i. Bab. 
Schab, f. 104. 2. Sanhed., f. 107. 2. quoted by Light, vol. 2. p. 

Orig. adv. Cels. 1. t. p. 22, prop. fin. Vid. et p. 34, prop. fin. 


magic. The Epicureans derided it. The Pythago- 
reans were fond of it. Celsus, though a professed 
Epicurean, and though he had wrote several books 
against magic y, yet is so inconsistent with himself, 
that even in his own person he imputes the miracles 
of Christ and his followers to this art '. He says in 
one place, *' The Christians seem to prevail by the 
" names and enchantments of certain demons * :" 
which is a clear evidence that the Christians of his 
time had the reputation of doing some great and 
wonderful works. 

Porphyry ascribes the miracles of Christ and his 
followers to the same''. Hierocles, another bitter 
writer against the Christians, does the same ^. Julian 
the Apostate says of Jesus, " That he did nothing 
" worthy of fame while he lived, unless one sup- 
" poses the curing the lame and the blind, and ex- 
" orcising demons in the towns of Bethsaida and 
" Bethany, to be the greatest of works ^" The 
proof of these facts was too strong to be withstood, 
otherwise we should not have had so candid an 
acknowledgment of their truth from so bitter an 
enemy. He says of the apostle Paul, " that he was 
" the greatest of all the deceivers and wizards that 

>' Vid. Orig. adv. Cels. p. 8. 32. 53. et 407. 

^ Ibid, 1. I. p. 7. 1. 21. -^ Ibid. 1. i. p. 7. 1. 5. 

^ Hieron. Op. t. 2. p. 160. cit. a. Basnag. Ann. vol. 2. p. 439. 

•^ Euseb. contra Hieroc. p. 512, B.D. And that this was the 
usual account given of our Lord's miracles by the heathen, we 
learn from Arnobius, 1. i. p. 25, prop. init. Occursurus forsitan 
riirsiis est cum aliis multis, calumniosis illis et puerilibus vocibus : 
Magus fuit, clandestinis artibus omnia ilia perfecit. ^gyptiorum 
ex adytis angelorum potentium nomina, et remotas furatiis est 

'^ Cyril. Alex, contr. .lul. 1.6. p. jqi.E. 


" ever were at any time in any place ^ :" and asserts 
of all the apostles in general, " that after their Mas- 
" ter's death they practised the magic art, and taught 
" it to their first converts f." 

Another method taken by the enemies of Chris- 
tianity in the first ages was to set up some great 
and eminent magician in opposition to Christ, and 
to attempt to shew that their works equalled, or 
even exceeded, those of Christ. Thus, in particular, 
they compare Apollonius Tyanaeus and Apuleius 
with Christ ^. Philostratus the Athenian took not 
a little pains in writing the Life of Apollonius ; but 
notwithstanding all his art and learning, it is ob- 
vious to every one who reads it, that he had the life 
of Christ before him, and that he makes Apollonius 
but awkwardly mimic the miracles of Jesus. How- 
ever, this is another certain evidence that the great- 
est men among the heathen philosophers, who op- 
posed Christianity, could not get over the notoriety 
of facts on which it was founded. The making such 
comparisons is a clear proof that they could not 

'^ L. 3. p. 100, A. 

•^L. 10. p. 340, pr. It was doubtless with a view to this ac- 
cusation that the Christian religion is called by Suetonius super- 
stitio malefica, Ner. c. 16. n, 3. Vid. Pitisci Notas, n. 15. And by 
Tacitus, exitlahilis superstiiio. The magic arts were esteemed 
mischievous, destructive, poisonous. And these are the Jlagitia 
mentioned by him in the same place, Ann. 1. 15. c. 44. 

8 Lactant. 1. 5. c. 3. p. 540, fin. Marcellinus Augustino epist. 4, 
cit. ibi in Not. Euseb, contra Hieroc. Vid. et Arnob, 1. i. p. 31. 
Philostratus and Hierocles deny that Apollonius was a magician 
or impostor; but that he was esteemed such is fully evident from 
Lucian's Alexander or Pseudoinantis, who makes Alexander to be 
the scholar of one of the followers of Apollonius, p. 862. 


deny but that our Saviour had performed many 
great and wonderful works. 

I may add yet further, that had there come down 
to us any Jewish or heathen books, in which the 
miracles of Christ and his apostles had been recorded 
in a plain and simple manner, without any malicious 
turn and invidious reflection accompanying the nar- 
ration, they would have been esteemed of no worth, 
and cried out upon as Christian forgeries. This is 
the case with regard to a known passage in Jose- 
phus, who describes Jesus as a performer of wonder- 
ful works. The objection is, How the writer could 
remain a Jew, after having given Jesus the cha- 
racter of being the Christ foretold by the prophets ? 
as if it were necessary that the principles and prac- 
tices of persons should always agree. Is it then so 
uncommon a thing for men to act against the con- 
viction of their own minds ? We are informed by 
several of the ancient Christian writers, that Phle- 
gon, the freedman of the emperor Adrian, recorded 
the darkness which happened at our Saviour's cru- 
cifixion. The truth of this has been warmly dis- 
puted by some modern critics, and as fully defended 
by others. Origen in his book against Celsus says, 
that the same Phlegon, in the thirteenth or four- 
teenth book of his Chronicles, " ascribes the fore- 
" knowledge of certain future events to Christ, con- 
" founding the master with his apostle, putting the 
" name of Peter instead of that of Jesus, and testi- 
" fies that the events answered the prediction '\" 

Thus have I shewn how far the several things 

'' L. 2. p. 69. 


related in the Acts of the Apostles are confirmed by 
other authors. And upon the whole I may venture 
to affirm, that there is no History extant in the 
world, the several circumstances, incidental facts, 
and principal matters whereof are so strongly con- 
firmed by a variety of other authors as this is. 



That the History of the Acts was written hy 
St. Luke. 

I PROCEED now to the third general head 
proposed, which is, to lay before you the plain and 
direct proofs there are that the History of the Acts 
was written by St. Luke, and was owned and re- 
ceived by the Christians in the first ages as a sacred 
book, and the arguments tlience arising for the truth 
of the facts therein related. 

That the Gospel which is ascribed to St. Luke 
and the Acts of the Apostles were written by one 
and the same author, is evident from the manner in 
which they begin. They are both directed to Theo- 
philus, and the latter makes express mention of the 
former as written by the same author and to the 
same person. 

All the manuscript copies of the Gospel ascribed 
to St. Luke have his name prefixed to them, not 
only the more modern ones, but the most ancient. 
Even the copies extant in Tertullian's time had it 
so. It is not indeed probable that the evangelists 
put their own names to them, at least it does not 
seem credible that they should have done it in that 
uniform manner in which they now appear. There 
can be no doubt, however, but that they were pre- 
fixed by those who first copied them, and well knew 
the writers. When there was more than one Gospel 
published, it was necessary that the names should 
be set to them, in order to distinguish one from the 


Tertullian, who wrote his book against Marcion 
the heretic in the year of Christ 208=', says, that the 
Gospel which Marcion used was not to be owned, 
because it had no title, and was ascribed to no au- 
thor. This heretic received no other Gospel than 
that of St. Luke, and even that he curtailed and cor- 
rupted as he thought fit, in order to make it agree, 
as well as he could, with the romantic doctrines he 
taught ; but he prefixed no name to it. Tertullian 
argues that it ought not to be acknowledged, not 
having the name of the author before it ^. This is a 
plain evidence that all the Gospels which were owned 
and received by the catholic church at that time 
had the names of the authors prefixed to them ; and 
particularly that the copies of St. Luke's Gospel 
had his name placed before them, at least all which 
Tertullian had seen ; and it is very probable he 
might have seen copies which were above a hundred 
years old, that is, some of the first copies that were 
transcribed after the Gospel was published. We that 
have manuscript copies now extant six or eight 
hundred years old, cannot think it strange that 
there should be copies of St. Luke's Gospel of a hun- 
dred and ten, or a hundred and twenty years, pre- 
served at that time, if not in the churches of Africa, 
at least in the church of Rome, which was a place 
frequently visited by Tertullian '^. There are several 
manuscript copies of the Acts also, which have St. 

^ Vid. Tertulliani Vitam per Pameliiim, ad an. 208. 

^ Non agnoscenduni opus, quod uon erigat frontem, quod nid- 
lani fidem reproniittat de plenitudiiie tituli et protessione debita 
auctoris, 1. 4. p. 414, C. 

*: Vid. Tertull. Vit. per Paniel. ad an. 205, fin. 206, fin. 209, 
pr. 210, pr. 



Luke's name prefixed to them^. And the reason 
why his name is not universally set before this book 
is, because it is evident from the work itself that it 
belongs to the same author which wrote the Gospel, 
and that both the Gospel and the Acts are esteemed 
as two parts of one and the same work ^. 

Whoever was the author, it is certain from the 
style that he was the companion of the apostle Paul 
in his travels, and particularly, that he sailed with 
him from Judaea to Rome, when St. Paul was sent 
thither by Festus the Roman governor, upon his 
appeal to Caesar. And it is fully evident from the 
salutations sent from Rome by St. Paul in his Epi- 
stles to the Colossians, and to Philemon, when he 
was the first time a prisoner there, that St. Luke 
was with him. In the one he calls him the beloved 
physician^, in the other hi?, fellow-labourer^. 

The ancient fathers, that had the certain means 
of knowing who was the author of the History of 
the Acts, unanimously ascribe it to St. Luke. Thus 
does Irenseus '\ Clemens Alexandrinus ', Tertullian ^ 
Origen ^ Eusebius "\ and those who came after. And 
indeed I know not that any one person ever enter- 

'• Vid. Sim. Crit. Hist, de N.T. c. 14. p. 152. 

^ Iren. 1. 3. c. 15, pr. Grabe's Spicil. vol. 1. p. 34, pr. 

*■ Col. iv. 14. B Philem. 24. 

^ L. I. c. 23. §. I. 1. 3. c. 14, throughout 5 1. 4. c. 15. §. i. 

' Strom. 1. 5. c. 12, tin. p. 696. and Ilypotyp. quoted byEuseb. 
E. H. 1. 6. c. 14, pr. 

•^ De Jejun. c. 10. p. 549, B. Cum in eodem commentario 
Lucas et tertia hora orationis demonstretur. 

' Adv. Cels. 1. 6. p. 282, fin. vol. i. in Matt. p. 382, D. vol. 2. 
in Joan. p. 23, D. Euseb. E. H. 1. 6. c. 25, fin. 

""• E. H. 1. 3. c. 4, pr. et nied. c. 31, D. 1. 2. c. 1 1, pr. et c. 22, 


tained a doubt, or made the least hesitation concern- 
ing the author of the Acts. It is true, there were 
heretics who rejected it " : but they did not reject it 
because they were in any suspense about the author ; 
they well knew it was wrote by St. Luke, and at the 
same time made use of no other Gospel than his, 
though they both took from and added to it as they 
pleased °. These were men that pretended to a more 
exalted degree of knowledge than most of the apo- 
stles were endued M'itli p, and therefore might very 
consistently reject the Gospels of St. Matthew and 
St. John, though they knew and acknowledged the 
authors to be apostles. 

I shall give you a brief character of the fathers I 
have mentioned, and shew you how they had the 
certain means of knowing who was the author of 
the History of the Acts. Irenaeus was a man of 
great prudence, learning, and piety, much esteemed 
both by those of his own time, and those which fol- 

" Cerdo, Marcion, and their followers, and the Severians, a 
sect of the Encratites, who were also originally from Marcion. 
Vid. Tertull. de PrEescript. Haer. c. 51. p. 222, fin. Adv. Marcion. 
p. 463, A. Euseb. E. H. I.4. c. 29. p. 121, fin. et 122, B. 

" Vid. Iren. 1. i. c. 27. §. 2. et 1. 3. c. 12. §. 12. et c. 14. 4. 
Tertull. adv. Marcion. 1. i. c. i. et 1. 4. c. 2 — 5. De Carne Christi 
c-3- P-309'B. 

P Vid. Iren. 1. i. c. 27. §. 2. et 1. 3. c. 12. §. 12. Putaverunt 

semetipsos plus invenisse quani apostoli Et apostolos quidem 

adhuc quae sunt Judseorum sentienles, annuntiasse evangelium, se 
autem sinceriores et prudentiores apostolis esse. Unde et Mar- 
cion, et qui ab eo sunt, ad intercidendas conversi sunt scripturas, 
quasdam quidem in totum non cognoscentes, secundum Lucani 
autem Evangelium, et Epistolas Pauli decurtantes, haec sola legi- 
tima esse dicunt, qua; ipsi minoraverunt. Et Tertull. de Praescript. 
c. 22. 

F f 2 


lowed. He gives us this account of the four Gos- 
pels : " Matthew published his Gospel among the 
" Hebrews in their own language at the time that 
" Peter and Paul preached at Rome, and founded a 
" church there. After their departure, Mark, the 
" disciple and interpreter of Peter, delivered to us 
" in writing the things which were preached by 
" Peter. And Luke the follower of Paul wrote in a 
" book the Gospel jireached by him. Afterwards, 
" John, the disciple of the Lord, who leaned upon 
" his breast, published also a Gospel, while he lived 
'' at Ephesus in Asia ^." A few pages after this, 
having observed that Paul in his Epistle to the Ga- 
latians, and Luke in the Acts of the AjDostles, agree 
in the narration of the same fact '", he adds, " that 
" this Luke was inseparal^le from Paul, and his fel- 
" low-labourer in the Gospel, he himself shews, not 
" boasting, but compelled by the truth ^" He then 
relates from the Acts of the Apostles a brief account 
of Luke's travels with St. Paul, and concludes thus : 
" But if Luke, who always preached with Paul, and 
" is called beloved by him, and performed the office 
" of an evangelist with him, and was intrusted to 
*' relate to us the Gospel, learnt nothing else from 
" him, as we have proved from his words ; how 
" comes it to pass that these men, who never were 
" in Paul's company, or joined to him by any degree 
" of friendship, boast that they have learnt hidden 
" and ineffable mysteries ' ?" A little after, he says, 
" But if any reject Luke, as not knowing the truth, 
" he will be convicted of rejecting the Gospel, of 

1 L. 3. c. I. §. I. "^ L. 3. c. 13, fin. 

" Ibid. c. 14, pr. ' Ibid. §. i, fin. 


" which he vouchsafes to be a disciple " ;" because 
the heretics he is here speaking of received no other 
Gospel than that of St. Luke. He proceeds in the 
next words to shew, that Luke relates many parti- 
culars which are not found in the other Gospels ; 
which particulars were owned and received by the 
heretics he is spe^aking of. He then adds, " It is 
" necessary that they receive also the other things 
" said by him, or reject these. For it will not be 
" permitted them by persons of sense to receive 
" some of those things which are related by Luke 
" as though they were true, and to reject others as 
" though he knew not the truth """ This he says, 
because the Marcionites cut off some things from 
Luke's Gospel, and rejected the Acts of the Apostles. 
A little after, he goes on thus : " We say the same 
" thing also to those who acknowledge not the apo- 
" stle Paul, that either they ought to reject, or not 
" make use of, the other particulars of the Gospel, 
" which are come to our knowledge by Luke only ; 
" or if they receive all those particulars, it is neces- 
" sary they receive also that testimony of his con- 
" cerning Paul." And then quotes tM'O passages 
from the Acts of the Apostles relating to St. Paul >'. 
And a few lines after, proceeds thus : " Perhaps for 
" this reason God has caused that very many parti- 
" culars of the Gospel history, which all are obliged 
" to use, should be related by Luke, that all, receiv- 
" ing the subsequent narration which he gives of 
*' the acts and doctrine of the apostles, and so hav- 
" ing the rule of faith uncorrupted, might be saved." 
Irenaeus, speaking of the revelation made by St. 

" L. 3. c. 14. §. 3, pr. " Ibid. §. 4, pr. y C. 15. §. i. 

Ff 3 


John, says, " It was seen not long ago, and almost 
" in our own age, at the end of the reign of Domi- 
" tian ''■ :" and more than once informs us, that the 
apostle John lived to the times of the emperor Tra- 
jan ''^. And in agreement herewith, Clemens Alexan- 
drinus has given us a brief account of this apostle's 
conduct at Ephesus, and the neighbouring coun- 
tries, after his return from the isle of Patmos, in the 
reigns of Nerva and Trajan ^\ Irenaeus also tells us 
that Polycarp was ordained bishop of Smyrna by the 
apostles '^ : and in his letter to Victor bishop of Rome 
says, that Polycarp had lived familiarly, not only 
with the apostle John, but with others also of the 
apostles ^. Eusebius expressly tells us, that before 
John wrote his Gospel, the other three Gospels were 
in the hands of all, and that the apostle John con- 
firmed the truth of them by his testimony ^. Had 
not Polycarp then the means of knowing exactly 
who was the author of each of the four Gospels and 
of the History of the Acts ? Must he not have been 
fully informed of these facts by the apostle John, 
and those other apostles with whom he conversed ? 
Irenaius was in his younger days acquainted with 
Polycarp^; and though very young at that time, 
yet says, " he had a more perfect remembrance of 
" the things which then happened, than of things 
" which fell out much later ; so tliat he could give 
" an account of Polycarp's manner of life, and the 
" discourses which he made to the people, and how 

* L. 2. c. 22. §. 5. et 1. 3. c. 3. §. 4, fin. 

^ Quis Dives Salvetur? p. 959, pr. "- L. 3. c. 3. §. 4, pr. 

«' Euseb. E. II. 1. 5. c. 24. p. 157, B. 

"= E. II. 1. 3. c. 24. p. 76, C. f L. 3. c. 3. §. 4, pr. 


" he related the conversation which he had had with 
" John and others, who had seen our Lord, and how 
*' he mentioned their sayings s." Can it be imagined 
that among the things which Irenaeus learnt from 
this great man, he received not information from 
him concerning the authors of the four Gospels and 
the History of the Acts ? 

St. Jerom tells us, that after Polycarp's death Ire- 
naeus was under the instruction of Papias bishop of 
Hierapolis'\ This Papias wrote five books, some 
remains of which are still preserved in Eusebius, 
wherein he tells us, " That he diligently inquired 
" after the sayings of the apostles, and other disci- 
" pies of our Lord, what Andrew, what Peter, what 
" Phihp, what Thomas, what James, what John, 
" what Matthew and the other disciples of our Lord 
" said \" He had been a hearer of Aristion and 
John the presbyter, two of our Lord's disciples^". 
Irenaeus himself mentions these books of Papias, and 
adds, moreover, that he was Polycarp's friend ^ 
Might not Irenaeus learn from this bishop who were 
the authors of the four Gospels and the Acts of the 
Apostles ? That Papias had received information 
concerning the Gospels is sufficiently plain from a 
little fragment of his preserved by Eusebius, con- 
taining a relation of what John the presbyter said 
of the Gospels according to St. Matthew and St. 
Mark "\ 

s Euseb. E. H. 1. 5. c. 20. p. 152, fin. 
h In Catalog, et ep. 55. al. 29. ad Theod. 
' Euseb. E. H, 1. 3. c. 39. p. 89. *^ Ibid. p. 90, pr. 

' L. 5. c. 33. n. 4. 

"' E. H. 1. 3. c. 39. p. 90, tin. et 91. The title of Papias's books 
was, An Exposition of the Oracles of our Lord. 
F f 4 


Irenaeus not only mentions Polycarp and Papias 
by name, but speaks frequently of elders or aged 
men, who had seen both John and others of the 
apostles, as persons who had given him information". 
But, had he been acquainted with no other than 
Pothinus bishop of Lyons, how easy was it for him 
to have obtained a certain account of the authors of 
the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles ? Po- 
thinus suffered martyrdom at Lyons in the year of 
Christ 177°, when he was above ninety years of agei'. 
He was more than thirteen years old therefore when 
the apostle John died. Might not he easily learn 
from many, who had conversed with John and seve- 
ral otiier apostles, who were the authors of the four 
Gospels and the Acts ? Irenaeus was a presbyter of 
the church of Lyons under this bishop, and suc- 
ceeded him in the bishopric^. If therefore he had 
not received a full account of this matter before, 
which, I think, no reasonable man can doubt but he 
must have done, most certainly he could not fail of 
having it from him. 

But supposing we had been wholly ignorant of 
the great advantages which Irenaeus had from his 
acquaintance with Polycarp, Papias, and Pothinus, 
and the other ancient men mentioned by him ; we 
might easily conceive that at the time he lived there 
could be no difficulty in learning who were the au- 

"L. 2.C. 22. §.5. 1.4. c. 27. §. I. c. 30. §. I. c. 31. §. i.et32. 
§. I. 1. 5. c. 5. §. I. c. 17. §. 4, fin. c. 33. §. 3. et 36. §. i, 2. 

° Vid. Dodwell, Dissert, in Iren. 4. §. 3. p. 294. Fabr. Biblioth. 
in Iren. Massuet. Vit. Iren. p. 80. 

1' Euseb. E. H. 1. 5. c. I. p. 129, D. 

"I n)id. c. 4, pr. et c. 5. p. 138, li. et Ilieron. in Catal. 


thors of the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apo- 
stles. Although there is a great variety of opinions 
among learned men concerning the time when Ire- 
nseus was born, they are generally agreed that he 
was made bishop of Lyons in the room of Pothinus, 
about the year of Christ 177 or 178. The learned 
Dodwell places it ten years sooner, in the year 168. 
The question is. What was his age at this time ? 
Massuet the learned Benedictine, who gave us the 
last edition of Irenseus's works, fixes his birth much 
later than any other writer I have met with. He 
places it as low as the year of Christ 140, which is 
very hardly to be reconciled with the account Irenaeus 
gives us of himself. The most place it at least 
twenty years sooner. However, we will at present 
take it for granted that Massuet's calculation is 
right, and that he was but thirty- seven or thirty- 
eight years of age when ordained bishop of Lyons ; 
and though from his earliest years instructed in the 
principles of Christianity, yet we will also suppose 
that he began not his inquiry concerning the authors 
of these books till he was twenty years of age. 

Was it not an easy thing in the year of Christ 160 
to learn in the several churches of Christians dis- 
persed through the world how they came in posses- 
sion of these books, of whom they received them, 
and upon what authority ? more especially in the 
churches founded by the apostles themselves. Had 
he at this time made inquiry in the church of Ephe- 
sus, (and Ephesus was not far from Smyrna, where 
he had received some of his first instructions,) was 
there no person then living of eighty or upwards, 
who had been a Christian, and lived in that city 
from his youth? If there was, that person must 


have been twenty years of age at least when the 
apostle John died, and probably must have been 
known to him. For the apostle spent the last part 
of his time in that city. But persons of sixty, or 
fifty, nay of forty years of age, in that city, must 
have known many, very many, that had been long 
acquainted with the apostle John. And persons of 
seventy, or even of sixty, must have known those 
that remembered the apostle Paul himself, who 
founded this church. For the year of Christ 56, and 
a great part of 57, St. Paul spent at Ephesus. Could 
it then be any difficulty for Irenaeus to inform him- 
self by what authority they received the four Gos- 
pels and the Acts of the Apostles, and who wrote 
them ? Or, had he at this time made inquiry in the 
church of Rome, persons of sixty, or even of fifty 
years of age, must have been acquainted with very 
many who inhabited that great city when the apo- 
stles Peter and Paul suffered martyrdom there, 
which was in the year of Christ 68. 

I the rather insist upon this, because it is an argu- 
ment made use of by Irenaeus himself to prove the 
trutli and genuineness of the books received by the 
church against the heretics. He says in one place, 
" If there should a dispute arise upon any little 
" matter, ought not recourse to be had to the most 
" ancient churclies in which the apostles themselves 
" were conversant ? And ought we not to learn 
" from them what is clear and certain upon the 
" question moved ^ ?" Intimating, that much more 
ought it to be done in matters of great moment. 
Can we then think that if Irenaeus had had any the 

■■ L. 3. c. 4- §. I, prop. fin. 


least scruple upon his mind concerning the authors 
or authority of the four gospels, he would not have 
taken this method to be satisfied? For could there 
be a question of greater moment in his sense of 
things, who expressly says, " they were written that 
" they might be the foundation and pillar of our 
" faith ?" In another place he asserts, " that the 
" churches founded by the apostles had preserved 
" the scriptures entire without falsifying or corrupt- 
*■ ing them ^" meaning among the rest the four Gos- 
pels and the Acts of the Apostles. For he not only 
quotes each of these, and that frequently, as scrip- 
ture ; but this is spoken in direct opposition to those 
heretics, who, as he before tells us, rejected some of 
these books, and corrupted the other '^. From what 
has been said, it appears beyond all contradiction, 
that Irenaeus had the certain means of knowing who 
were the authors of the Gospels and the Acts of the 

The next person I mentioned as ascribing the 
Acts of the Apostles to St. Luke, is Clemens Alexan- 
drinus, who had been educated in the heathen reli- 
gion and learning^. And perhaps no man ever had 
a more extensive knowledge in both. When Pan- 
ta?nus went to preach the gospel to the Indians, 
Clemens was made master of the catechetical school 
at Alexandria in his room y, as it is thought, about 

■^ L. 3. c. I, pr. ^ L. 4. c. 33. §. 8. 

" L. I. c. 27. §. 2. et 1. 3. c. 1 I. §. 7. 9. et c. 12. §. 12. 

^ Euseb. Prajp. Evan. 1. 2. c. 2, fin. p. 61. 

> Euseb. E. H. 1. 5. c. 10. et 1. 6. c. 6. Eusebius supposes him 
to have succeeded after the death of Pantaenus ; but this could 
not well be, because Origen was acquainted with Pantaenus. 
Euseb. E. H. 1. 6. c. 14. p. 176, pr. Vid. Tillemont. Fabric, et 


the year of Christ 189 ^ Rewrote his book called 
Stromateis after the death of the emperor Commo- 
dus. For he therein computes the years from our 
Saviour's birth to the death of Commodus to be 
194 *. We have no account what his age was when 
he became a convert to Christianity, or when he 
was fixed at the head of the Alexandrian school. 
Eusebius represents him as saying, " that he was 
" next in time to those who succeeded the apo- 
" sties '" ;" i. e. that there was one generation of men 
between him and those who lived and conversed 
with the apostles. This he tells us himself, " that 
" in various parts of the world he met with those 
" who preserved the true tradition of the blessed 
" doctrine, received by succession immediately from 
" Peter, and James, and John, and Paul, the holy 
" apostles, as a son receives from his father ^" 

If we suppose that Clemens was a Christian 
twenty years before he was intrusted with the 
school of Alexandria, which is no unreasonable sup- 
position, it is probable he began his travels about 
the year of Christ 170. For that he had been in 
Greece, Italy, Coelcsyria, Palestine, Egypt, and met 
in those places with such persons as gave him satis- 
faction in the things he desired the knowledge of, 
he fully intimates to us '^ And it is certain at this 
time persons of seventy or eighty years of age might 
have conversed witli many who knew the apostles, 
not only the apostle John, but James, Peter, and 
Paul. Narcissus in Palestine was about this age at 

"■ Vid. Fabric. Biblioth. 

' Strom. 1. I. p. 407. Vid. et 403. ct 406. 

^E. U. 1.6. c. 13, fin. 

' Slroin. 1. 1. 1). 322. Euseb. E. II. I. 5. c. 11. '' Ibid. 


the time we are speaking of, and lived afterwards 
to complete a hundred and sixteen years ^. How- 
easy was it for Clemens to have certain information 
who were the authors of the four Gospels and the 
Acts of the Apostles from those ancient Christians 
which he made it his business to search for in so 
many different parts of the world. That they did 
relate to him several particulars concerning the Gos- 
pels is evident from his own words. For he gives 
an account from them of the order in which the 
four Gospels were written, and of the providential 
occasion of St. Mark's writing the Gospel ascribed 
to him, and how St. John was prevailed with and 
inspired to write the Gospel which goes under his 
name ^. In the same work Clemens tells us, that 
the Epistle to the Hebrews is St. Paul's, written to 
the Hebrews in the Hebrew tongue ; but that St. 
Luke, carefully interpreting it, published it to the 
Greeks ; whence it comes to pass that there is found 
the same appearance of style both in this Epistle 
and in the Acts". This account also no doubt he 
received from some of his ancient acquaintance, 
though it be not expressly mentioned by him. 

TertuUian is another person I have mentioned as 
ascribing the Acts of the Apostles to St. Luke. He 
lived at the same time with Clemens Alexandrinus ; 
a man of a sharp wit, wonderful learning, and ad- 

e Euseb. E. H. 1. 6. c. 1 1. It is a remarkable providence, that 
notwithstanding the severe persecutions there were so many Chris- 
tians preserved to an old age at the beginning of Christianity, to 
satisfy persons from their own knowledge of the facts, concerning 
which they would be naturally led to inquire. 

'Euseb. E. H. 1. 6. c. 14, C. D. ^ Ibid. B. 


mirably skilled in the Roman laws ^. He also had 
been a heathen, and in what year he was converted 
to Christianity is uncertain ^ Pameliiis, who took 
not a little pains to collect all the notices of time 
that are any where dropt in his works, has fixed it 
to the year of Christ 196''. Our learned country- 
man Dr. Cave has placed it eleven years sooner, in 
the year of Christ 185. Perhaps the truth may lie 
in the mean between both. That he wrote his first 
book against Marcion in the fifteenth year of the 
emperor Severus, that is, about the year of Christ 
207 or 208, is sufficiently evident from his own 
words ^ And that he had written many of his 
works before this, several of them before the year of 
Christ 200, will appear to any one who will give 
himself the trouble to examine "'. Tertullian, though 
born at Carthage", and for the most part resident 
there ", yet no doubt was sometimes at Rome. There 
was so great a commerce jjetween Afric and Rome, 
and it was so easy a passage from one to the other, 
that it would be unreasonable to think he did not 
visit that great city. Eusebius tells us that he was 
a person of note and eminence there i". And we 
know from his own words that he was there i. 
Was it not an easy matter for him in that great 

'' Euseb. E. H. 1. 2. c. 2. p. 32, B. Hieron. in Calal, 

' Vid. Apol. c. t8. p. 17, C. ^ De Vit. Tertull. 

' L-T- c. 15. p. 372, C. 

'" Vid. Paniel. de Vit. Tertull. Cave. Basnage in Ann. 200. §. 3. 
et 4. 

" Apol. c. 9, p. 9, B. fin. et de Pallio, c. 1. p. 1 12, B. fin. Hie- 
ron. in Catal. 

° Hieron. in Catal. i' E. H. 1. 2. c. 2. p. 32, B. nied. 

'" De Cultu Foeni. c. 7. p. i52,C. 


city to find out persons who could give him certain 
information concerning the authors of the four Gos- 
pels and the Acts of the Apostles ? Had he admitted 
any the least doubt concerning them, we may be 
sure from the warmth of his temper that he would 
leave no method untried by which there was hope 
of obtaining satisfaction. In his book, which he calls 
De Prcescriptione, wrote against the heretics in ge- 
neral, he has this exhortation : " Come on, you that 
" have a mind to exercise your curiosity in the af- 
" fair of your salvation ; run through the apostolic 
" churches, in which the chairs of the apostles still 
" preside in their room, in which the authentic let- 
" ters themselves of the apostles are read, uttering 
" the voice and representing the countenance of each 
" one. Is Achaia nearest to you ? You have Co- 
" rinth. If you are not far from Macedonia, you 
" have Philippi, you have the Thessalonians. If 
*' you can go into Asia, you have Ephesus. If you 
" lie near Italy, you have Rome, whence also au- 
" thority is near at hand for us. This, how happy 
" a church ! to which the apostles poured forth the 
" whole doctrine of Christ together with their own 
" blood ; where Peter underwent a like suffering 
" with our Lord ; where Paul was crowned with 
" the death of John the Baptist ; where the apostle 
" John, after he had been immersed in scalding oil, 
" and suffered nothing from it, was banished to an 
" island. Let us see what this church learnt, and 
" what it has taught '"." 

If TertuUian had entertained any the least scruple 
concerning the authority of the four Gospels, or the 

■^C. 36. p. 215, A. 


Acts of the Apostles, would he not have pursued 
the method which he here directs others to ? could 
he have rested till he had found the satisfaction he 
desired? In one of his books against Marcion, who 
received only the Gospel according to St. Luke, re- 
jecting the other three, and corrupting even that, he 
argues thus : " In fine, if it be plain that that Gospel 
" is the truer which is the first ; that the first which 
" is from the beginning ; and that from the begin- 
" ning which is from the apostles ; it will be equally 
" plain, that that was delivered by the apostles 
" which has been held sacred in the churches of the 
" apostles. Let us see what milk the Corinthians 
" drew from St. Paul, by what rule the Galatians 
" were reformed, what the Philippians, Thessalo- 
" nians, and Ephesians read, what the Romans, who 
" are very near us, sound forth, to whom Peter 
" and Paul left the gospel sealed with their own 
"■ blood. We have also the churches fostered by 
" John. For though Marcion reject his revelation, 
" yet the series of bishops in those churches, reckon- 
" ed back to their beginning, will rest upon John as 
" the author. In the same manner the oiiginal also 
" of other churches is known. I say, therefore, that 
*' that Gospel of Luke which we defend has been 
" approved and established in those churches from 
" the time it was first published ; and not in the 
" apostolic churches alone, but in all those which 
" are joined in communion with them ; but that 
" that of Marcion is unknown to most of them, and 
" known to none that do not condemn it. That 
" Gospel also has churches ; but they are peculiar to 
" it, both of a late standing, and adulterate, whose 
*' original, if you inquire into, you shall more easily 


*' find them apostate than apostolic, Marcion being 
" their founder, or some one out of his swarm. 
" Wasps also make honeycombs, and Marcionites 
" make churches. The same authority of the apo- 
" stolic churches will also patronise the other Gos- 
" pels, which are equally conveyed down to us by 
*' them, I mean those of John, Matthew, and Mark. 
" Concerning these Marcion is to be asked, Why, 
" omitting these, he has insisted upon that of Luke ? 
" As though these also were not in the churches 
" from the beginning, as well as that of Luke ^" 

He has more to the same purpose, which would 
take up too much of your time to transcribe. His 
account of the authors of the four Gospels is in brief 
this : " That two of them were written by the apo- 
" sties Matthew and John, and two by apostolic 
" men * ; the one the follower of Paul, the other of 
" Peter : that St. Mark wrote the Gospel preached 
" by Peter, and St. Luke the Gospel preached by 
" Paul ", and confirmed by the other apostles ^." 
From these passages it is abundantly evident that 
Tertullian had not been wanting in his inquiry to 
know upon what authority the churches received 
the four Gospels, and that he was fully persuaded 
they were received upon the authority of the apo- 
stles themselves ; in particular, that the Gospel of 
St. Luke was so ; and if the Gospel, the Acts of the 
Apostles also, which was but "^einepo^ Xoyoq, the se- 
cond treatise, of that whereof the Gospel was irpccTogi 
the first. That this was his real sentiment, though 
he has not here expressed it, is evident from other 

* Adv. Marc. 1. 4. c. 5, pr. p. 415. ' Ibid. c. 2. p. 414. 

" Ibid. c. 5. p. 416, pr. 

" Ibid. c. 2. p. 414, D. et 1. 5. c. 3, pr. p. 463, V>. 


passages of his works, as particularly in his book 
lie Prcescriptione Hcereficorum. Cerdo the here- 
tic, and Marcion his scholar, rejected the Acts of 
the Apostles, as well as three of the Gospels y. Ter- 
tullian, having shewn that the scriptures were in 
the possession of the apostolic churches ^-^ afterwards, 
in answer to an objection of the heretics, that the 
apostles did not know all things, introduces those 
words of our Saviour, When the Spirit of truth 
shall come, he shall lead you into all truth ; and 
then adds, " He shews that they were ignorant of 
" nothing, because he promised that they should ob- 
" tain all truth by the Spirit of truth, and he indeed 
" fulfilled his promise ; the Acts of the Apostles 
" proving the descent of the Holy Ghost. Which 
" scripture (i. e. the Acts of the Apostles) they who 
" receive not cannot be of the Holy Ghost, because 
" they cannot know that the Spirit is yet sent down 
" on the disciples : neither can they defend the 
" church, not being able to prove when, or by what 
" beginnings, that body was instituted "." These 
heretics received some of the Epistles of St. Paul, 
and particularly that to the Galatians, and quoted 
some passages from it to support their impious opin- 
ions '\ TertuUian, before he answers to the passages 
cited by them, makes this preface : " We may here 
" also say to those who reject the Acts, of the Apo- 
" sties, It is necessary that you first shew who is 
" Paul, and what he was before an apostle, and how 
" he became an apostle. It is not enough that he 

> De Piaescript. c. 51. p. 222, fin. 

' Ibid. c. 15, fin. et c. 19. p. 208, C. 

■' Ibid. c. 22. p. 209, fin. 

•' Iren. 1. i. c. 27. §. 2. Tertull. adv. Marcion. 1. 4. c. 3. 


" professes himself an apostle from a persecutor, 
" since our Lord gave not testimony of himself. 
" But let them believe without the scriptures, (i. e. 
" without the Acts of the Apostles,) as they believe 
" things in direct contradiction to the scriptures *^." 

Origen is another of the persons I have men- 
tioned. He was a prodigy of industry and learn- 
ing. It is almost impossible to think or speak of 
him without the utmost admiration. Clemens being 
driven away from Alexandria by the severe persecu- 
tion that happened there, about the year of Christ 
202 or 203, Origen was placed at the head of the 
catechetical school in his room, at eighteen years of 
age**. He was acquainted with Pantaenus^ who 
had been master of the same school before Clemens 
as well as with Clemens, and probably had received 
instructions from both. The fame of his great 
knowledge and most exemplary life soon spread 
abroad in the world ; which as it occasioned his 
being sent for by princes and other eminent per- 
sons ^, so it gave him an opportunity of conversing 
with the most knowing men of the age he lived in ^. 
He spared no pains to make himself master of all 
that was written before his time, whether by hea- 
thens, Jews, or Christians ; whether orthodox Chris- 

'^ De Prsescript. c. 23. p. 210, a. Vid. et adv. Marcion. 1. 5. 
c. I, 2. 

'• Euseb. E. H, 1. 6. c. 3. p. 165, fin. p. 166, C. fin. 

•^ See the Letter of Alexander bishop of Jerusalem, Euseb. E.H. 
1.6. c. 14. p. 176, pr. Vid. et c. 19. p. 179, fin. 

f Ibid. c. 8. p. 170, B. He was sent for by an Arabian prince, 
c. 19. p. 180, H. by Mamniaea, the mother of Alexander the em- 
peror, c. 21, C. fin. by several bishops, c. 27. He also wrote let- 
ters to the emperor Philip and his empress, c. 36, D. 

3 Ibid. c. 18, D. et c. 19. p. 179, D. 


tians or heretics. He travelled into various parts of 
the world, was at Rome ^, was in Greece ', Syria '', 
Palestine ^ and Arabia'". And it is certain that 
there must, even in his time, be many living who 
could look back to the disciples of the apostle John. 
Not only Narcissus bishop of Jerusalem, who lived 
till Origen was thirty-one years of age, and whom 
we have mentioned before, but much younger per- 
sons than he was, even those of eighty, or seventy- 
five, might with ease be able to do this. 

That he would not fail to make such an inquiry 
after the authors of the four Gospels and the Acts 
of the Apostles as would give him entire satisfac- 
tion, we may be very sure, from the immense pains 
he took in explaining the scriptures both of the Old 
and New Testament. What vast fatigue did he 
undergo in collecting the several interpretations of 
the books of the Old Testament, and writing com- 
ments upon them ! What laborious comments did 
he publish on the four Gospels and most of the 
Epistles " ! He wrote also Homilies on the Acts of 
the Apostles °. That he actually did make inquiry 
concerning the four Gospels, is evident from what 
he says in the first book of his Exposition on the 
Gospel of St. Matthew, where he tells us, that he 
had " learnt from tradition, concerning those four 

'■ He desired to see apxaioruT^v '?u(Aalm iKKX7)crlav, and came 
there under Zephyrinus. Euseb. E. H. 1. 6. c. 14. p. 176, A. 

' Ibid. c. 16. p. 177, pr. c. 23. et c. 32. p. 187, fin. 

^ Ibid. c. 2 I, D. 

' Ibid. c. 19. p. J 80, B. et c, 23, D. 

^ Ibid. c. 19. p. 180, B. 

" Ibid. 1. 6. c. 16. 23. 24. 25. 33. 36. Vid. et Fabric. Biblioth. 
Graec. " V'id. Phiiocal. c. 7. 


" Gospels, which alone are without contradiction in 
" the whole church of God under heaven, that that 
" according to Matthew, who was once a publican, 
" and afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, was 
" written first : that he published it for those who 
" believed of the Jewish nation, being composed in 
" Hebrew : that the second was that according to 
" Mark, who wrote it as Peter dictated to him ; 
" whom therefore, in his catholic Epistle, he 
" avouches for his son, saying, The church ivhich 
" is in Bahylon, elected together with you, scdut- 
" eth you, and so does Marcus my son. And the 
" third is that according to Luke, the Gospel com- 
" mended by Paul, written for those who were con- 
" verted from among the Gentiles. The last of all, 
" that according to John p." And in his Homilies 
upon the Epistle to the Hebrews, after having said 
that the sentiments in that Epistle are those of the 
apostle Paul, but the diction that of some disciple of 
his, adds, that " the ancients have not without cause 
" delivered it down as St. Paul's ; and the history of 
" this matter, which is come to us, is this : Some 
" say that Clemens, who was bishop of Rome, wrote 
" the Epistle ; others, that Luke did, who wrote the 
" Gospel and the Acts "^ ;" meaning, that one of 
these two was that disciple of St. Paul who put his 
sentiments into their own language '". I have cited 
this passage to shew that Origen was not wanting 
in his diligence " to find out the authors of the se- 
" veral parts of scripture in the New Testament." 
Eusebius is the last person I mentioned. He was 

P Euseb. E. H. 1. 6. c. 24. p. 184, A. fin. 

'1 Ibid. p. 184, fin. et 185, A. B. ■■ V^d. 1. 3. c. 38. 



born about the year of Christ 270, and departed this 
life not long after the death of Constantine the 
Great, about the year 340 ^ He was first a pres- 
byter of the church of Caesarea in Palestine, and 
afterwards bishop of the same church ; a man of 
great learning, and in high esteem not only with his 
brethren the bishops, but with Constantine himself 
He wrote many things admirably well against the 
enemies of Christianity, both heathens and heretics. 
But that which we are the most indebted to him 
for is his Ecclesiastical History, wherein he has re- 
lated a great variety of facts, which we must have 
been wholly ignorant of, and transcribed many pas- 
sages from ancient authors, which otherwise we 
should never have seen. It was with no little pains 
and difficulty he read over the writings of the Chris- 
tians that went before him, and thence composed his 
History. He expressly tells us, that the four Gos- 
pels and the Acts of the Apostles were scriptures 
of the New Testament universally received by the 
church of Christ *, and that without any contradic- 
tion ". It is true they were not received by some 
heretics, as he himself informs us " ; but these were 
never esteemed part of the Christian church, nor in- 
deed deserved the name of Christians. As to the 
most of them, they might be called philosophers, or 
romancers, but forasmuch as they denied the very 

'' Vid. Cave's Hist. Literar. el Fabric. Bibl. Graec. 
' E. H. 1. 3. c. 25. 

" Kal TOVTo. [A.ev iv 0[xoAoyoviji.fiion;. Tuv ?>' wi'TfAe'yojiAtVct'v, 8iC. Ibid. 
J). 78, A. ^laKpivacvrii; rd^ re Kara tyjv €KKKyj(7ia<ntK7iv Tfot^aSoajv d>.r)- 
6etq Koi aiiKda-TOVi ko.) d>uuoXoyoviJi.i>/a,i; ypaipctt,, kolI rut; aXXa^ itapa, rat- 
tac;, oCiK ivhaO-^KOVf ji*6V, dXKd koI ai/T^Xfyo^eVa,;. B. fill. C. 

" L, 4. c. 29. p, 122, B. 


fundamental principles of the Christian religion, and 
had a faith of their own invention, the mere fruit of 
imagination, without any the least foundation either 
in reason or scripture y, they could in no sense be 
allowed the name of Christians z. 

Eusebius further says, that these books " were 
" delivered down by the church as true and uncor- 
" rupted, and acknowledged by all from the begin- 

y Non erit Christianus, qui earn negabit, quam confitenUir 
Christian! ; et his argumentis negabit, quibus iititur non Christia- 
nus. Aufer denique ha;reticis, quae cum ethnicis sapiunt, ut de 
scripturis solis qusestiones suas sistant^ et stare non poterunt. 
Tertull. de Resur. Carnis, c. 3. p. 327, C. 

^ KaJ 'X.ptaTiavciVi iavroiii; Xeyovcrtv "ov Tpoicov ol iv ro7<; e6ve<Ti to ovo(Jia 
Tov @eov t-Kiypacpovat ToTt; xnpoTioiriroii;. Just. Mart. Dial, cum Tryph. 
p. 253, D. Vid. p. 306, D. p. 308, C. Apol. p. 70, A. et p. 92, a. 
Qui quidem Epicuri phiiosophiani, et Cynicorum indifferentiam 
semulantes, Jesmn magistrum gloriantur. Iren. 1. 2. c. 32. §. 2, fin. 
Si enim heeretici sunt, Christian! esse non possunt, non a Christo 
habendo, quod de sua electione sectati hsereticorum nomine ad- 
niittunt. Ita non Christiani nullum jus capiunt Christianarum 
literarum. Ad quos merito dicendum est. Qui estis ? Quando et 
unde venistis ? Quid in meo agitis, non mei ? Quo denique, Mar- 
cion, jure sylvam meam csedis ? Qua licenlia, V^alentine, fontes 
meos transvertis ? Qua potestate, Apelles, limites meos coni- 
moves ? Mea est possessio. Quid hie ca;teri ad voluntatem ve- 
stram seminatis et pascitis ? Mea est possessio, olim possideo, 
prior possideo, habeo origines firmas, ab ipsis auctoribus quorum 
fuit res. Ego sum hseres apostolorum. Sicut caverunt testa- 
mento suo, sicut fidei commiserunt, sicut adjuraverunt, ita teneo. 
Vos certe exlieeredaverunt semper et abdicaverunt, ut extraneos, 
ut inimicos. Unde autem extranei et inimici apostolis haeretici, 
nisi ex diversitate doctrinte, quam unusquisque de suo arbitrio ad- 
versus apostolos aut protulit aut recepit ? &c. Prcescript. 
Hesr. c. 37, 38. p. 215, C. Vid. et Euseb. E. H. 1. 3. c. 26. 
p. 79, B. fin. 1. 4. c. 7. p. 97, fin. ef 22. p. 1 15, D 1 16, A. et 
c. 1 1, p. 100, D. 

G g 4 


" ning **," i. e. by all Christian churches, by all which 
descended from the apostles in opposition to the he- 
retical ones, which descended from their several 
founders, wlio were later than the apostles. And 
was it not easy for him to know this from the an- 
cient copies of these books preserved in the several 
churches, from the tradition handed down from time 
to time by grave, wise, and elderly men, but more 
especially from the writings that were then extant, 
both of Christians and heretics ? It was but little 
more than 230 years from the martyrdom of the 
apostles Peter and Paul, and scarcely 200 years from 
the death of the apostle John, when Eusebius was 
full thirty years of age. It is now about the same 
distance of time since the beginning of the reforma- 
tion. Is it a difficult matter for us to look back to 
that time in the writings both of protestants and of 
papists, and to learn what books were received by 
each as scripture, and what were rejected ? When 
Eusebius says that the Gospel of St. Luke and the 
Acts of the Apostles were universally acknowledged 
by the Christian church from the beginning, he 
means that they were received and acknowledged as 
written by St. Luke. I am fully persuaded, that this 
was a thing in his time so notorious, from the strong- 
current of tradition, and the many writings then ex- 
tant, that a very small inquiry was abundantly suf- 
ficient to give any man the fullest satisfaction there- 

^ Tai; Kara. Triv e/c/<Xiij<nacrTiK-))v wa/iaSoo-jy akrfiu^, Ka\ anXderrovi;, koi 
uy-oKoyovf/Jva^ ypa(j>ut;, |). 78, C. 



That the Acts of the Apostles was owned and re- 
ceived by the Christians in the first ages as a 
sacred booh. 

HAVING laid before you the proofs there are 
that St. Luke wrote the History of the Acts, I pro- 
ceed now to shew that it was received by the Chris- 
tians in the first ages as a sacred book. And in 
doing this I shall invert the method I before used, 
shall begin at the time of Constantine the Great, 
and go backwards. Eusebius, who had with great 
pains perused the writings of those who went before 
him, who well knew what their sense of this matter 
was, and expressly undertakes to represent it % says, 
" Luke, born at Antioch, by profession a physician, 
" who was mostly with Paul, though he conversed 
" not a little with the other apostles, has left us, in 
" two divinely inspired books, samples of the art of 
" healing souls, which he learnt from the apostles, 
" that is, in the Gospel which he declares to have 
" written, as those who from the l)eginning were 
*' eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word delivered 
" it to him, all of whom he professes to have fol- 
" lowed from the beginning ; and in the Acts of the 
*' Apostles, which he composed not as he received by 
" hearsay from others, but as an eyewitness ^." 

•'• Ylfo'i(iV(T'fi(; Se t-^^ laTopicii, itpovpyov 'nor^o'Of/.ctt alv rocit; 8<aSo%ar^ viro- 
ai]i//riVcx,(T6at, Tivtq tSi/ Kara j^povov^ eKK'A'^criaariKuv avyypa.djeuv, onoiaK; 
Ke^pYivTcii tSv avTi'keyof/.evuV liva, re 'Jiip'i rZv ii/dtad'^Koiv Koi ojA-oXoyovue- 
V03V ypa<puv, Kct.) 'ofJot, Ttep) zZv [/.'/j rotovruv avTo7(; elpfjrai. L. 3. C. 3, C. 

fin. '^ L. 3. c. 4. p. 58, D. 


As he here expressly tells us that not only St. 
Luke's Gospel, but that the Acts also, was a divinely 
inspired book, so he perpetually quotes it as such. 
Thus, in the beginning of his second book, having 
professed to continue his History from the sacred 
writings , he gives an account of the election of 
Matthias into the number of the apostles, of the or- 
daining of the seven deacons, and of the martyrdom 
of St. Stephen, from the Acts of the Apostles ; then 
adding some particulars from Clemens of Alexan- 
dria, and the Chronicle of Edessa, when he returns 
to the History of the Acts, he says, " But let us 
" pass again to the divine scripture ''." Then giving 
a brief account of the dispersion of the disciples after 
the martyrdom of Stephen, he has this expression ; 
" Some of them, as says the divine scripture, went 
" as far as Phoenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, 
" preaching the word to the Jews only." And 
again, having related that Herod beheaded James 
the brother of John, he proceeds ; " Then, as saith 
" the divine scripture, Herod perceiving that what 
" was done pleased the Jews, he laid hold on Peter 
" also ^ :" and in the next chapter shews the agree- 
ment of the History of tlie Acts, which he there also 
calls the divine scripture, with the History of Jose- 
phus, in the death of Herod Agrippa^ He not 
only thus expressly asserts that the Acts of the Apo- 
stles was a divinely inspired book, but he also says, 
" that it was from the beginning unanimously re- 

•^ Ta i/.£v tK iSv Beiuv Trapccarji^xivcixo'Oi ypai/.j/.drccv. ProcEin. fin. 
'' MeTieciA-ev I' civdi^ iir) tyjv 6dav ypatpf^v. L. 2. C. I. p. 30, D. 

« L. 2. c. 9, B. 

^ Ibid. C. 10. p. 37, D. et p. 38, D. ^ Upa, tZv Ttpd^cuv ypatfrq. 
C. 18, fin. 


" ceived by all the churches as part of the New Tes- 
" tament, or sacred code of divinely inspired books ?." 
The consequence of which is, that it was from the 
beginning publicly read in all the churches as a sa- 
cred book. For when he speaks of those books 
which were controverted, which were not unani- 
mously admitted by all as part of the New Testa- 
ment, but rejected by some ; as a proof that they 
were received by others, he says, " that they were 
" publicly read by them in their churches ^" And 
of the public reading the scriptures of the New Tes- 
tament in the churches, we have manifest footsteps 
in most of the writers which precede him, even from 
the beginning of Christianity '. 

Cyprian, who was bishop of Carthage, and suf- 
fered martyrdom in the year of Christ 258 ^, wrote 
several tracts and epistles, which are come down to 
us. In these he frequently quotes the Acts of the 

a L. 3. c. 25, tit. pr. et p. 78, B. fin. et C. 

'' Thus of the Epistle of James. L. 2. c. 23, fin. Of the Pastor 
of Hennas. L. 3. c. 3. p. 58, A. Of the Epistle of Clemens. Ibid, 
c. 16. And of all the controverted books in general. Tuv avTiXeyo- 
fA,€vuv [/.iv, Of^Cix; 8' iv Tr'Aita-Taiq iKK/.Tja-ioiti; %apa. %o}^Xo7i; 8eS»)/Aoa-;ei;jM,€Vwv. 

Ibid c. 31, prop. fin. 

' Vid. Apostol. Constit. 1.2. c. 57. p. 265. Cyprian. Ep. 23. 
29. 39. TertuU. adv. Marcion. 1. 4. c. 5, pr. p. 415, D. De Prse- 
script. Haer. c. 41, fin. p. 217, C. Apol. c. 22. p. 22, A. fin. Coi- 

nius ad literarum divinarum commeniorationem certe fideni 

Sanctis vocibus pascimus, spem erigimus, fiduciam figinnis, &c. 
C. 39. p. 31, A. Kat TYj Tov YjXiov KijoiA-evri yil^fpa. tidvTuv Kaza, TioXfti; tj 
uypoii {/.evwraiv eirj to aino crvi/eAtva-ii; yiveTai, kcc) to. awo/xv^j/xoi'etJ/AaTa 
ruv o.'TCCicrToKecv, »j ra avyypd[Ji.y.aTa tuv ncpoipYj-vcov avayivuo'Kt'rcit fJie^pi^ 
lyyoifti. EiTa zctva-ayiivov tov MayivutTKovTo^, k. t, X. Just. Mart. Ap. 
p. 98, C. D. The scriptures were also read in private families. 
Vid. Clem. Alex. Strom. 1. 7. p. 860, fin. 
^ Vid. Annal. Cyprian. 


Apostles as of the same authority with the other 
divinely inspired writings ^ In the preface to his 
two books of Testimonies against the Jews, he pro- 
fesses to collect those Testimonies from the divine 
fountain, i. e. the scriptures of the Old and New 
Testament; and among the other scriptures he 
quotes the Acts of the Apostles in both these 
books "". In the preface to his third book of Tes- 
timonies he declares, that he has gathered out of 
the sacred scriptures certain heads pertaining to the 
religious discipline of Christians. To compose these 
capitula, or heads, are frequent citations from the 
Acts of the Apostles, as well as from other parts of 
the inspired writings °. And one of these heads has 
no text whatever cited but from the Acts °. In an- 
other place also he quotes it under the name of the 
divine scripture. It is in his treatise of the Unity 
of the Church p. " This unanimity was of old under 
'* the apostles ; so the new people of believers, keep- 
" ing the commandment of the Lord, held fast their 
" charity. The divine scripture proves this, which 
" says. And the multitude of them that believed 
*^ we7'e of one hecwt and of one soul: and again, 
" And they all continued with one accord in lyrayer 
" with the women and Mary^ the mother of Jesus, 

' Vid. (le Ilab. Virg. p. 93. compared with p. 97. de Opere et 
Eleenios. p. 201. compared with 208. Ep. 3. p. 6. Ep. 59. p. 128. 
et 64. p. 161. et 66. p. 166. et 72. p. 196. et 73. p. 202. et 209. 
et 75. p. 221. 

™ L. I. c. 21. p. 29. et 1. 2. c. 16. p. 42. 

" C. 3. p. 62. c. 14. p. 68. c. 30. p. 74, pr. c. 61. p. 83. c. 89. 
p. 87. c. 100. p. 88. c. 101. p. 89. c. 1T9. p. 91. 

" C. 44- P- 77- 
1' P. 1 19, prop. fin. 


" and with his hrethrenr Both which passages are 
taken from the Acts of the Apostles "i. 

And although it is true, that he frequently cites 
the apocryphal books of the Old Testament also as 
scripture, yet he seems to distinguish them as not 
altogether of the same authority with the other sa- 
cred writings, and particularly with the Acts of the 
Apostles. Having quoted a passage from the book 
of Tobit, wherein Raphael the angel is introduced 
as saying, Prayer is good with Jasting, and alms 
for alms doth deliver from death, and imrges away 
sin »', he adds, " We do not so produce this, my dear 
" brethren, as not to prove what the angel Raphael 
" said by the testimony of truth. In the Acts of 
" the Apostles is there proof of the fact ; and that 
" alms does deliver, not only from the second death 
" of the soul, but from the first death, is found true 
*' by an example of the thing itself^." Then follows 
the history of Peter's raising Dorcas from the dead, 
who was full of good works and almsdeeds that she 

Origen was born about the year of Christ 185, 
and, after many sharp sufferings for the sake of 
Christianity, died about the year 253 or 254. He 
left many voluminous writings behind him, of which 
very few are come down to us entire. There are, 
however, sufficient to let us know that he esteemed 
the Acts of the Apostles a sacred and divinely in- 
spired book. He divides the sacred writings into 

^ Acts iv. 32, and i. 14, ■■ Tob. xii. 8, 9. 

=* Nee sic, friitres carissimi, ista proferimus, ut non quod Ra- 
phael angelus dixit veritatis testinionio coinprobemus. In Actibus 
Apostolorum facti fides posita est, &c. De Opere et Eleemos. 
p. 199. 


those of the Old Testament and those of the New * ; 
and not asserts, but plainly proves, that they were 
both divinely inspired ". He cites passages from the 
Acts of the Apostles, which he expressly calls " say- 
" ings of the New Testament ^." And speaking of 
this History by name, terms it the divine scripture. 
It is in his Commentary upon Matthew. Having 
produced an example of a heathen, who sold all that 
he had, and gave it away, he adds, " But if any one 
" is willing to be persuaded by the divine scripture 
" concerning this, that it is a thing practicable, let 
" him give ear to that which is related by Luke in 
" the Acts of the Apostles ;" and then quotes pas- 
sages from the second and fourth chapters of that 
book y. And, in his Commentary upon the Gospel 
according to St. John, he places the Acts of the 
Apostles among those writings which are in all the 
churches of God believed to be divine '' : and in the 
same place contends, that not only the four Gospels, 
but the whole New Testament, including the Acts 
and the Epistles, may be called the Gospel ^ ; and it 
is certain, that the word gospel is to be thus under- 
stood in several places in the writings of the ancient 
fathers''. It is almost needless to add after this, 
that Origen very frequently quotes the Acts, toge- 
ther with the other scriptures, as authoritative proofs 
of what he is maintaining ^ and that he wrote Ho- 

' Philocal. p. I, pr. 

'•' Ibid. p. 4, prop. tin. p. 5, 6. p. 7. I. co. p. 8. 1. 4, &c. p. 1 1. 
1. 5, &c. p. 12, prop. fin. p. 19, prop. fin. p. 31. c. 6. in Reg. 
p. 30, D. in Jer. p. 75, A. B. 

^ Philocal. p. 106. > P. 382, D. ' P. 4, A. H. 

' P. 4. 5. 6. 8. '' Vid. Clem. Rom. Ep. i. c. 47. Not, 7. 

' Uifi ivxtii, p. 20. 60. ^G. 158. Adv. C'els. p. 56. 57. 58. 81. 


milies upon the Acts of the Apostles, as well as 
upon other parts of the sacred writings ^^ 

Tertullian wrote most of his tracts between the 
years of Christ 200 and 212. He divides the scrip- 
tures also into those of the Old and those of the 
New Testament ^ ; and he divides those of the New 
Testament into Evangelica and ApostoUca : under 
the former are contained the four Gospels; under 
the latter, the Acts of the Apostles and their Epi- 
stles. Thus in his book de Resurrectione Carnis, 
having brought his proofs from the Old Testament, 
he says, Satis hcBC iwophetico instriimento, ad Evan- 
gelica nunc provoco ; " Enough has been said from 
" the Prophets, I now appeal to the Gospels ^" Hav- 
ing finished his proofs from the Gospels, he proceeds 
thus : Resurrectionem apostoUca qiioque instru- 
menta testantur ; " The apostolic instruments also 
" prove a resurrection :" and begins his proofs under 
this head from the Acts of the Apostles ; mention- 
ing the profession which Paul made before the Jew- 
ish sanhedrim, and again before Agrippa, and what 
he preached to the Athenians s. He does the same 
thing in his book de Pudicitia. Having despatched 
the question so far as related to the Gospels ^, he 
says, " Well, now let them teach from the apostolic 

86. 98, 117. 164. 386, pr. Com. vol. i. p. 32, D. 74, D. 104, B. 
218, C. 244, B, 332, E. 408, B.C. vol. 2. p. 23, D. 13, C. 15, A. 
fin. 155, B. 182, fin. 183, pr. 212, A. 260, B. fin. 304, C. fin. 
360, A. "^ Philocal. p. 32. 

^ Adv. Marcion. 1. 4. c. i. p. 413, A. B. C. D. c. 6. c. 22. p. 437, 
A. B. DeJejun. c. 11, pr. p. 550, B. De Pudicit. c. 1. 1)-555,A. 
Apol. c. 47. p. 36, D. p. 37, A. fill. 

'■ <^'- 32. p- 345. A. ^ C. 39. p. 348, C. 

'' C. 10, fin. p. 563, B. 


" instrument :" and presently after, " We salute the 
" form of the old law also in the apostles ;" and im- 
mediately begins his proofs from the Acts of the 
Apostles '. The same division of the books of the 
New Testament is also made byOrigen^: for having 
said, " It becomes us to l)elieve that the sacred writ- 
" ings have not one tittle empty of the divine wis- 
" dom ; for he that commands me, a human crea- 
" ture, saying, TJioii shalt not appear before me 
" empty, most certainly will not himself utter any 
" thing that is empty ;" presently adds, " And there 
*' is nothing in the Prophets, or the Law, or the 
*' Gospel, or the Apostles, which is not of his ful- 
" ness ^" In another place also he says, that " the 
" oracles of God are contained in the Law and the 
"' Prophets, and in the Gospels and the Apostles "'." 
As the Law and the Prophets are here put for the 
Old Testament, so the Gospel and the Apostles in- 
clude the New. All which, he plainly tells us, are 
the word of God, derived from, and savouring of his 
fulness. And this division of the New Testament is 
continued down in the liturgies of the church to 
this day". 

' C. 12. p. 563, C. '" Pbilocal. p. 12, prop. tin. c. 6. 

J). 31. c. II. p. 39. in Matt. p. 216, A. et p. 220, D. 

' Philocal. c. I. p. 19, fin. 

'" Horn. 10. in Jer. vol. i. p. 107, pr. The same division is 
made by Irenaeus, 1. i. c. 3. §. 6. p. 17, fin. and by Clemens Alex. 
Strom. 1. 7. p. 890. 1. 28. p. 892. 1. 13. and by Euseb. E. H. 1. 2. 
c. 17. p. 44, B. fin. and Ileraclitus wrote E;\- 'Attc/'o-toXov, i.e. as I 
suppose, Commentaries on the Acts and the Epistles. Euseb. 
E. H. 1. 5. c. 27. And Marcion the heretic had his Apostolicum 
as well as his Evangelicnm. Vid. Ittigii Ilaer. p. 153. et Pamel. 
Not. in Tertul. adv. Marc. 1. i. n. 2. p. 755. 

" Vid. Leo Allatius in Fabr. Bibl. vol. 5. p. 242 et 244. 


There is no one who has read Tertullian, but 
must be convinced that he was fully in the opinion 
that the writings both of the Old and New Testa- 
ment were inspired. In his Apology he has these 
words : " You that think we are unmindful of the 
" health and safety of the Caesars, look into the 
" word of God, our scriptures, which we conceal 
" not ourselves, and which many accidents have put 
" into the hands of strangers. Know ye, that we 
" are therein commanded, even to an excess of good- 
" will, to intercede with God for our enemies, and 
" to pray for good things to our persecutors. Who 
" are the enemies and persecutors of Christians more 
" than those by whose majesty and authority they 
" are convened to answer for their lives ? But God 
" in his word says also openly and expressly. Pray 
" yejbr kings, and princes, and potentates' ." 

As he in this and other parts of his works speaks 
of the whole scripture as the word of God, and di- 
vine 1', so very frequently, when he mentions par- 
ticular books, he speaks of them as inspired 'i. He 
calls the Acts of the Apostles instrumentum Acto- 
rum *", which seems to be a favourite name fixed 
upon by him to signify the inspired writings ^ Thus 

<' C. 31. p. 27. 

P Inspice Dei voces, literas nostras. Vox Divina ad Uxor. 1. 2. 
c. 2. p. 168, pr. Sacrosancto stylo, de Resiirr. Carnis, c. 22. 
p. 337, 338. Scripturae divinae, adv. Judteos, c. i. p. 184, A. and 
c. ir. p. 198, A. Apol. c. 20. p. 18, C. Vid. et c. 18. et de Cultu 
Foem. c. 3. p. 151, B. 

'i Majestas Spirltus Sancti in ipsa ad Thessalonicenses Epistola 
suggerit. De Resurr. Carnis, c. 24. p. 339,0. Vid. adv. Marcion, 
1.5. c. 7, pr. Ad Uxor. 1. 2. c. 2. p. 167,0. et de Coron. Mil. 
c. 4. p. 103, A. ' Adv. Marcion, 1. 5. c. 2. p. 463, A. 

^ Vid. adv. Marcion, 1. 4, pr. 



he calls the Old Testament vetus instrumentum ^ ; 
the Prophets, instrumentum proj)heticum " ; the 
four Gospels, instrumentum evangelicum, ^ ; and 
the Acts of the Apostles, together with the Epistles, 
instrumenta apostolica y, and instrumentiim apo- 
stoUcnm^ I the Revelation of St. John, instrumen- 
tum Joannis ''. He very frequently cites the Acts of 
the Apostles in proof of what he is maintaining, in 
the very same manner as he does the other inspired 
writings ^ ; I have already shewn you that he does 
so in his book de Pudicitia, and in his proof of the 

He also informs us that the churches of Christ 
esteemed the books of the Old and New Testament 
to be the fountain and foundation of their faith. 
For after having directed his reader to the apostolic 
churches, in the place I have quoted in the fore- 
going chapter, and having mentioned the church of 
Rome as near to the African churches, and holding 
communion with them, he adds, " She acknowledges 
" one God the Creator of the universe, and Christ 
" Jesus, of the Virgin Mary, the Son of the Creator, 
" and the resurrection of the body. And she mingles 

^ Evangeruini ut siipplementum Instrumenti Veteris adhibebo. 
Adv. Hermog. c. 20. p. 240, D. et de Monogamia, c. 7. p. 528, D. 
Vid. Apolog. c. 18, 19. 21. p. 17, B. p. 18, A. B. D. Adv. Jud. 
p. 184, A. de Prescript, c. 38. p. 216, A. Adv. Marcion, 1. 5. c. 13. 
p. 477, C. De Resurr. Carnis, c. 63. p. 365, pr. 

" De Resurr. Carnis, c. 33, pr. p. 345, A. 

" Adv. Marcion, 1. 4. c. 2. p. 414, B. 

y De Resurr. Carnis, c. 39 p. 348, C. 

^ De Pudic. c. 1 2. p. 563, C. 

" De Resurr. Carnis, c. 38. p. 348, B. 

'' De Resurr. Carnis, c. 22, 23, 24. De Carne Christi, c. 15, 24. 
Scorpiace, c. 15. p. 499. De Idololat. c. 9. p. 90, &c. &c. 8ic. 


" the Law and the Prophets with Evangelica and 
" ApostoUca, the Gospel and the Apostles, and thence 
" drinks her faith ''." This is all said in opposition 
to the heretics, against whom he writes. For they 
held another God besides the Creator, and said that 
Christ was not the Son of the Creator, denied the 
resurrection of the body, and rejected the Law and 
the Prophets. When he says that " she mingles the 
" Law and the Prophets with the Gospel and Apo- 
" sties," he means that all these were received and 
publicly read in the church of Rome; and probably 
also, that they were mixed in their reading, so as 
that part of the Old Testament, part of the Gospel, 
part of the Acts, or of the Epistles, were all read at 
one and the same time of their assembling, much in 
the same manner as it is at this day in our establish- 
ed church. Having said that " she mingles" these, 
he carries on the metaphor, and adds, " she thence 
*-' drinks her faith," i. e. takes her faith from those 
writings. It is abundantly evident from the con- 
text, that what he here asserts of the church of 
Rome, he would have understood of all the churches 
founded by the apostles. The Law and the Pro- 
phets, the Gospel and the Apostles, that is, the 
scriptures of the Old and New Testament, were the 
fountain whence they received their faith. And I 
have already fully proved to you, that under the 
name of ApostoUca, Tertullian includes the Acts of 
the Apostles, and that in agreement with the church 
of Rome, and the other apostolic churches, he drew 
his faith of the resurrection of the dead, and other 

De Praesciipt. Haer. c. 36. p. 215,6. 

H h 2 


doctrines, from thence, as well as from other parts 
of scripture. 

Another thing which demonstrates that he held 
the Acts of the Apostles as a sacred and inspired 
book, and part of the rule of faith to Christians, is 
the argument he makes use of against the heretics 
who rejected it. The Marcionites admitted the Epi- 
stle of Paul to the Galatians, though they rejected 
the Acts of the Apostles. Tertullian having shewn 
that the Epistle to the Galatians and the Acts of 
the Apostles agree in the narration of the same 
facts, and that the very subject-matter of that Epi- 
stle is recognised by the Acts, adds, " But if the 
" Acts of the Apostles agree herein with Paul, it 
" now plainly appears why they reject the Acts ; 
" and that is, because they preach no other God 
" than the Creator, nor Christ the Son of any other 
" than the Creator ; nor can it be proved that the 
" promise of the Holy Ghost has been fulfilled any 
" otherwise than by the instrument of the Acts *l" 
Which last words are agreeable to what you may 
remember I quoted from him before, where he says, 
" that they who receive not the Acts of the Apo- 
" sties cannot be of the Holy Ghost, because they 
" cannot know that the Spirit is yet sent down on 
" the disciples ; neither can they defend the church, 
" not being able to prove when, or by what begin- 
" nings, that body was instituted ^" Hence, you see, 
Tertullian esteemed the Acts of the Apostles to be 
an essential part of the sacred writings, absolutely 

'' Adv. Marcion, 1. 5. c. 2. p. 463, A. 
*= De Praescript. Haer. c. 22. p. 209, fin. 


necessary to prove the descent of the Holy Ghost, 
and rise of the Christian church. 

To give you some notion what was the sense of 
the Christians who lived at the same time with Ter- 
tullian, about the inspiration of the holy scriptures, 
I shall transcribe a passage from an anonymous 
writer, preserved by Eusebius. He was author of a 
book against the heresy of Artemon, who had much 
the same notions of Christ with our modern So- 
cinians. He charges them with corrupting the sa- 
cred writings, and appeals to the copies which they 
called corrected or amended, as differing not only 
from those preserved in the churches, but also from 
one another. He then adds, " This is a sin of so 
" audacious a nature, that it is not probable they 
" can themselves be ignorant of it. For either they 
" believe not that the sacred scriptures were indited 
" by the Holy Ghost, and are unbelievers ; or they 
*' esteem themselves wiser than the Holy Ghost, and 
" are mad or possessed. For they cannot deny that 
" this is their own doing, because the books are 
" written with their own hands, and they received 
" not such books from those by whom they were at 
*' first instructed in the Christian religion, nor can 
" they shew the copies from whence they transcribed 
" them ^" Hence, you see, that at this time all who 
did not believe the inspiration of the sacred writings 
were ranked among unbelievers. 

Clemens succeeded Pantaenus in the catechetical 
school of Alexandria, as I have already observed, 
about the year of Christ 189 ; and wrote those works 
of his which are come down to us within a very few 

' E. H. 1. 5. c. ult. prop. fin. 

H h 3 


years after. That part of his writings which would 
have given us most light into his sentiments con- 
cerning the holy scriptures in general, and the Acts 
of the Apostles in particular, is unhappily lost. It 
contained eight books, 'TiroTvuaa^av, of Institutions, 
and was, as Eusebius informs us, a brief exposition 
of all the scriptures, both of the Old and New Tes- 
tament s, consequently of the Acts of the Apostles. 
For we are very sure that the History of the Acts 
is, in the style of Eusebius, one part, evdiaQrjKov ypa- 
<f>yii, being expressly said by him to be a book of the 
New Testament ^. 

There are, however, writings of Clemens pre- 
served sufficient to give us the most ample satisfac- 
tion that he firmly believed the scriptures of both 
Testaments to be divinely inspired. He not only 
calls them sacred books \ and divine writings ^, but 

f^ E. H. 1. 6. c. 14, pr. Vid. Vales. Not. ibi, et in 1. 5. c. m. 
Pantasnus, his predecessor, had wrote something of the same kind 
before him. Vid. 1. 5. c. 10, fin. et 1.6. c. 13. p. 174, A. Clemens 
divides the scriptures into those of the Old and of the New Tes- 
tament. Strom. 1. 5. p. 697. 1. 24. Psedag. 1. i. p. 133. 1. 17. 
Strom. 1. 7. p. 899. 1. 15. et 1. 5. p. 669. 1. 2. et 1. 2. p. 444. 1. 29. 
et p. 454. 1. 3. et 1. I. p. 342. 1. 30. Qiiis Dives Salvetur, c. 3. 
p. 937. 1. 26. He divides the New Testament also into the Gos- 
pel and Apostles, "Ej^o/acv ja.f tvjv afy-qv T^? StSaar/caXia? tqv Kvpiov, Sia 
T€ tZv T[po(p7jTuVf 8<a re tov evciyyeKlov, ko.) S(a rZv fxaKcipiuv ocitoaToKuv^ 
itoKvrpmui; Koi 'iioXvfA,tpS(; t| apxoi (U Te'Xo^ ijyovi/.ivciv t^^ jvua-eu^. Strom. 

1. 7. p. 890. 1. 28, et p. 892. 1. 13. 

'' L. 3. c. 25, pr. et p. 78, C. et 1, 6. c. 14, pr. et c. 25. tit. and 
cap. compared with 1. 3. c. 3. 

' Bt^Koii ra.7<; dy[ai(;. Paed. 1. 3. p. 309. 1. 25. 

^ Tuv Btlm ypcupSv. Ibid. 1. 21. et Strom. 1. 2. p. 433. 1. 22. ct 
p. 454. 1. 25. et I. 7. p. 890. 1. 20. p. 896. 1. 8. p. 897. 1. 34. I. 8. 
p. 914. 1. 30. He also calls them t« Bj/SXia. Paed. 1. 3. j). 305. 


when he quotes particular books oftentimes expressly 
asserts their inspiration \ as he also does that of the 
scriptures in general "". He says in one place, " The 
" scriptures which we have believed derive their 
'* authority from the Almighty "." He often calls 
them, " the word of the Lord "," which, he says, 
" is more worthy of credit than any demonstration ; 
" rather, indeed, is the only demonstration i\" And 
in another place, " He that believeth the divine 
" scriptures, having a firm judgment, receiveth a 
" demonstration which cannot be falsified, that is, 
" the word of God, who gave these writings ^." And 
agreeably hereto, in his books called Paedagogus, he 
introduces our Lord as speaking in the Law "^j and 
by the Prophets ^ in the Gospels *, and in the Epi- 
stles ". He says, " that although Moses delivered 

' Thus he does with regard to the Law. Strom. 1. i. p. 421. 1. 38. 
To Deuteronomy. Paed. 1. i. p. 131. 1. 1 1. To the Psalms. Ibid, 
p. 141. 1. 25. etp. 149. 1. 38. Proverbs. Strom. 1. r. p. 331. 1. pen- 
ult. Isaiah. Paed. I. 3. p. 252. 1. 8. Ezechiel. Strom. 1. 2. p. 507. 
1. 19. The Prophets in general. Strom. 1. 6. p. 827. 1. 33. et 1. 7. 
p. 893. 1. 18. The apostles were prophets inspired by the same 
Spirit. Strom. 1. 5. p. 669. 1. 3. and their discourses were inspired. 
Strom. 1. 7. p. 896. 1. II. Vid. Euseb. E. H. 1. 6. c. 14, D. 

■^ Cohort, p. 71. 1. 25, &c. Strom 1. i. p. 342. 1. 35, &c. i. 6. 
p. 803. 1.32. 

" Strom. 1. 4. c. I. p. 564. 1. 17. 

° Strom. 1. 7. p. 890. 1. 34. et p. 891. 1. 3. 

P Strom. 1. 7. p. 891, 1. 9, &c. 

'1 Strom. 1. 2. p. 433. 1. 22. Vid. p. 442. 1. 20. p. 454, fin. 1. 5. 
p. 697. 1. 23. et 29. 1. 6. p. 786. 1. 8. 1. 7. p. 895. 1. 10. et p. 896. 
1. 7. et 25. 

■•L. I. p. 131. I. 20. ^ P. 143— 154. 

t P. 143. 1. 12. p. 148. Vid. 145. 1. 26. 

" L. 3. p. 258. 1. 19. et 1. 3. c. 12. throughout. 
H h 4 


" the Law, he delivered it from the Logos, or the 
" divine nature of Christ, as being his servant'':" 
and that " both the laws served the Logos for the 
" instruction of men ; the one, delivered by the 
" hand of Moses ; the other, by the apostles y." And 
that Clemens understood the Acts of the Apostles in 
particular to be the word of God, is most apparent, 
because he frequently cites it, together with the 
other inspired writings, to make proof of what he 
asserts ^'. 

There is nothing, it may be, in which the learned 
more widely differ, than in the age of Irenseus. 
Dodwell supposes him to have been born in the 
year of Christ 97 % Grabe in the year 108 ^, Tille- 
mont in the yearl20%and Massuet in theyearl40'^ 
This difference in opinion arises chiefly from the 
uncertainty of the time when Polycarp was mar- 
tyred, which our learned countryman Pearson places 
in the year of Christ 147''; others, in the year 169^; 
and others in the year 175 s. They all agree, how- 
ever, that Irenseus was bishop of Lyons in the year 
177'', and that he wrote his books, which are come 

^ L. I. c. 7. p. 134, pr. V L. 3. p. 307, fin. 

^ Strom. I. 4. p. 606. 1. 30. I. r. §. 19. p. 371, 372. Peed. I. 2. 
p. 175. et p. 202. Su-om. 1. 6. p. 772, &c. &c. 

■' Dissert, in Iren. 3. c. 17. p. 252. '' Prolt-gom. in Iren. 

'^^ Massuet. Dissert, praev. in Iren. p. 77. n. 2. ■' Il)id. 

^ Dissert, de Success. 2. c. 16, 17, 18, 20, &c. Massuet in the 
year 166. ubi siipra. 

' Usher and Basnage. V'id. Basn. Annal. vol. 2. p. 139. n. 11. 

>' Petit. 

'' Dodwell indeed siip|)oses that Potiiinus was martyred in the 
year 167, and that Irenaeus then succeeded hiio. Dissert, in Iren. 
p. 294. 


down to us, within a few years either before or after 
that time '. 

It cannot but be a thing obvious to any one who 
has looked into his writings, that he was firmly per- 
suaded the scriptures both of the Old and New Tes- 
tament "^ were inspired, and proceeded from God. 
He not only calls them scripturce divince, scripture 
Dominicce^, the divine scriptures, and our Lord's 
scriptures, but expressly asserts that both the Old 
and the New Testament have one and the same 
Author, i. e. the Word of God '". In another place 
he calls them, "the scripture given us by God":" 
and in the same chapter says, " The scriptures are 
" perfect, being spoken by the Word of God and 
" his Spirit °." By the Word of God he means the 
Logos, the divine nature of Christ; and by the 
scriptures there it is fully evident from the context 
that he means the writings both of the Old and 
New Testament p. It is very certain also, from 
many other places in his works, that what I have 
before shewn to have been the opinion of Clemens 
Alexandrinus, Irenaeus has frequently declared to be 
his ; tliat is, that the Law and the Prophets, as well 
as the Gospel, were the words of our Saviour ^i ; and 

' Pearson de Success, p. 277. Grabe, Proleg Dodwell, Dissert. 
in Iren. 4. c, 33, 34. 44, fin. Massiiet. Dissert. ]). 97. 

•^ He divides the scriptures into those of the Old and those of 
the New Testament. L. 4. c. 15. n. 2. et c. 16. n. 5. et ubique. 

' L. 2, fin. 1. 3. c. ig. n. 2. 

™ L. 4. c. I 2. n. 3. c. 13. n. 3, 4. " L. 2. c. 28. n. 3. 

" Scripturae quidem perfectae sunt, quippe a Verbo Dei et Spi- 
ritu ejus dictee. Ibid. n. 2. 

V Vid. c. 27. c. 30. n. 6. c. 35. n. 2. 4. 

'1 L. 4. c. 2. n. 3. c. 5. n. T, 2. c. 6. n. 6. Utraque Testamenta 
uuus et idem Paterfamilias produxit, Verbum Dei, Dominus noster 


that the writers of the holy scriptures, both those of 
the Old and those of the New Testament, were 
under tlie direction of the Holy Spirit in what they 
wrote ■'. 

He not only cites the Acts of the Apostles under 
the express name of scripture ^ but he has produced 
passages from it which amount to a great, I know 
not whether I may not justly say, the greatest part 
of that book, as authoritative proofs against the 
heretics with whom he disputes. He affirms, that 
" the gospel was by the will of God delivered to us 
" in writing to be the foundation and pillar of our 
*' faith ^" And it is very plain that he puts the 
Acts of the Apostles and other writings of the New 
Testament upon the same footing. For having 
brought arguments against the heretics from the 
beginnings of the four Gospels, he passes on to the 
other part of the New Testament in this manner : 
" Having therefore examined the opinion of those 
" apostles who have delivered to us the gospel from 
" the beginnings themselves of those Gospels, let us 
" go on to the other apostles, and inquire their opin- 
" ion concerning God "." And then he quotes the 
words of Peter, Philip, Paul, Stephen, James, and 
of the whole assembly of disciples, as related in the 
Acts of the Apostles. And arguing against those 
heretics who rejected the Acts of the Apostles, he 

Jesus Christus. C. 9. n. i. c. 1 1. n. i. c. 20. n. 4. 7. j i, fin. c. 35. 
n. 2. med. c. 36. n. 8, prop. fin. 

■■ L. 3. c. 6. n. I. 5, fin. c. 7. n. 2. c. 10. n. 2, prop. fin. n. 4, 
med. c. 16. n. i, prop. fin. n. 2, prop. fin. n. 3, fin. n. 9, parenth. 
c. 21. D. 4. 9, prop. fin. 1. 4. Pr;ef. n. 3. c. 2. n. 4. c. 20. n. 8. 

* L. 3. c. 12. n. 5, pr. et n. 9, fin. ' L. 3. c. i, pr. 

" L. 3. c. 1 1, fin. Vid. n. 7, pr. el c. 10, n. iilt. 


asserts that either they ought to renounce all that 
was written by Luke, or to receive all. I have al- 
ready cited several passages to this purpose ^ : I shall 
now add the sequel of one of them : " And truly if 
" the disciples of Marcion renounce all that is said 
" by Luke, they will have no Gospel at all ; for, cur- 
" tailing the Gospel which is according to Luke, 
" they boast that they have the Gospel. And if the 
" disciples of Valentine do this, they will cease from 
" the most of their vain talk. For from hence they 
" receive many occasions of their subtle discourse, 
" daring to give an ill interpretation to those things 
" which are by him well spoken. But, if they shall 
" be compelled to receive the rest of what Luke has 
" said, they ought, applying their minds to an en- 
" tire Gospel, and to the doctrine of the apostles, to 
" exercise repentance, that they may be safe from 
" the danger they are in >'." By the doctrine of the 
apostles, he here means the History of the Acts, 
which is the name he gives it also in another pas- 
sage that I have before cited from him ; where he 
says, " Perhaps for this reason God hath caused that 
" very many particulars of the gospel history, which 
" all are obliged to use, should be related by Luke, 
" that all receiving the subsequent narration which 
" he gives of the acts and doctrine of the apostles, 
" and so having the rule of faith uncorrupted, might 
" be saved ^" Hence I think it is very evident, that 
according to his sentiments, those who received not 
the Acts of the Apostles had not an uncorrupted 
rule of faith. 

'^ In the preceding chapter. > L. 3. c. 14. n. 4. 

^ Ibid. c. 15. n. I. 


In the beginning of the same chapter he makes 
the Acts of the Apostles a continuation, or a part of 
the gospel. These are his words : " We say the same 
" thing also of those who own not the apostle Paul, 
" that they ought either to renounce the other say- 
" ings of the gospel, which are come to our know- 
" ledge by Luke alone, and not to use them ; or, if 
" they receive all those^to receive also his testimony 
" concerning Paul." So that Luke's account of Paul 
in the Acts of the Apostles is plainly ranked with 
the sayings of the gospel : and it is very clear upon 
the whole, that he places the History of the Acts 
upon the same footing with the gospel, which, him- 
self tells us, was committed to writing that it might 
be the foundation and pillar of our faith. I have 
the longer insisted upon what is said by Irenaeus, 
because it is certain that from his acquaintance with 
Pothinus, Polycarp, and other ancient Christians, 
some of whom had conversed with the apostles 
themselves, and others of them with the immediate 
disciples of the apostles, he could not but well know 
what regard was to be paid to the writings of St. 

Justin Martyr suffered death for the profession of 
Christianity about the year of Christ 163 ', and is 
thought to have presented his first Apology to the 
emperor Antoninus Pius about the year ISO''. He 
had wrote a book against the heretics before this ^ : 
and Ircnajus quotes some passages from a work of 

" \'i(l. Basnage, Annal. vol. 2. p. 120. §. 5. and Grabe in Spicil. 
Basnage himself is of opinion that it was in the year 165. 

'' Basnage, Ann. vol. 2. p 85. §. 5. Grabe puts it as late as 152. 
' .liistin. Mart. Apol. ]). 70, B. 


his against Marcion ''. It is our unhappiness that 
these books are lost ; nor does it appear that Euse- 
bius himself ever saw them ' . In these, it is highly 
probable, he must have urged the heretics with 
the authority of the books of the New Testament, 
and therefore must have spoken distinctly of them, 
more particularly of those written by St. Luke, be- 
cause Marcion had corrupted his Gospel, and re- 
nounced the Acts. We lament also the loss of the 
works of Philip f, of Modestus s, of Musanus ^\ of 
Bardesanes \ of Rhodon '% of Theophilus ^ who all, 
as Eusebius informs us, wrote against Marcion, and 
that not long after Justin Martyr. 

Those works of Justin which are come down to 
us, being written chiefly against the heathen or the 
Jew, there was no occasion to say much of the scrip- 
tures of the New Testament, or to insist upon their 
inspiration. However, it is sufficiently evident, even 
from these, that he believed the inspiration of both 
Testaments. To lead the emperor into a notion of 
the Christian faith, and how the truth of it is to be 
proved, he gives him a brief account of the inspired 
men who wrote the Old Testament, and of the pre- 
dictions of Christ contained therein •". He frequently 
appeals to the same prophecies in his dispute with 

<> L. 4. c. 6. n. 2. et 1. 5. c. 26. n. 2. 

~ For he quotes both these passages from Irengeus. E. H. 1. 4. 
c. 18, fin. fE. H. 1. 4. c. 25. slbid. 

'' L. 4. c. 28. ' L. 4. c. 30. '^- L. 5. c. 13. 

I L. 4. c. 24, fin. 

"^ "Avdpancot ovv t»v£? iv 'lovSa/oj? yeytv/ivTai ©toD irpocjyiiTut, Si' wv 7:po(f>Yj- 
TtKov TTVtu/xa wpoeKijpi'le to. 'y€v^(Tta-6at,i jtAeXXoi/ra 'iip)v t) jevea-Qcci. Apol. 

p. 72,B. &c. p. 75, C. p. 78,C.D. 79, 8o,B. 81, B. 82, B. 84,0. 

86, 88, B. C. 92, C. 93, B. HveZf^a, (zyiov hicc tZv iipocpvirZv irpotK-tipv^e 
TO. KixTO. TO!/ '\-t]crovv Tcdvia. P. 94, D. 95, C. 96, B. 


the Jew"". He therein also fully proves that the 
New Testament, or the new Law given to Chris- 
tians, was foretold in those prophecies " ; conse- 
quently, this new Law, wherever it be found, must 
come from God ; and he himself directs us to find it 
in the commentaries of the apostles p, that is, the 
writings of the New Testament. In relating to the 
emperor the Christian manner of worship, he tells 
him that the commentaries of the apostles and the 
writings of the prophets were read in their assem- 
blies every Sunday "i. As the writings of the pro- 
phets are there put for the whole Old Testament, 
so no doubt the commentaries of the apostles are to 
be understood of all the books of the New Testa- 
ment : for in the same page, when he speaks of the 

" 'D.<; Sia rov 'Haalov ^oS to ayiov tivHi^a. Dial. p. 242, B. Ka» 
aXKov "^aXiz-oZ ru Aa^iS inco rov dy'tov irvevuccroi elf^f^evov ava/^y/jaoj^ca*. 

P. 25i,B. p. 254,D. 255, CD. 262, A. 274, B. C. 275, B.C. 

277, B. C. 298, D. 299, D. 302, D. 303, A. EtVo'i/TO? 8<a 'lepeixUv 
Tov dylov 'K^eviMx.roi ovtui;' ^covr] ev 'Pafxa., K. t. X. p. 304> C. 310, A.B. 
That our Saviour Christ, or the divine Logos, spake by the pro- 
phets, is his opinion also ; as well as of Irenaeus, and the other 
fathers : ''Ot* Se ouSevt aKKw 6to(popovvTai oi "KpocpvjTtvovTei tl (m] Xiyu 
Bua>, Ka\ vjAei^, uf uTrsAajtAjSavo), (jy^atTe. Apol. p. 75, C, 76, C. 77, C. 

" Nuvi Sf, aveyvuv yap, u> Tpv(j)uv, cti faoiTo koI -rey^ivraToi vifM^, Koii 
Zia6^K7j KvpiuraTVi TcaaSiv, t[v vZv Se'ov <pvXd<ra€iv ■Kd,vTa(; dvQpiizovq, tffoi 
T^5 ToZ 0£oi/ KKtipovoy-iaq dvmandivrcn, k. t. X. Dial. p. 228, A. B. p. 
261, C. p. 292, B. p. 346, C, 35 1, A. B. 

I* Called by him the Oracles of Christ, iKelvov Xiyia. Dial. p. 235, 
D. In this Dial, he introduces Trypho saying thus; "TjaZv he koc) 
tec ev tZ Xeyofxivo) evayyeXtu; TtapayyiXfAaTa Sav/Aa-ara. ovtui; ko.) fAiydXa. 
iitia-rafAat tlvoct, ui; vi!(iKafji.^dveiv [Arjliva hvvaa-Qat (pvXd^rxt avrd. P. 227, 
B. And in his Apol. O* yap d-nia-ToXoi iv to?^ ytvoiA.tvoii; lit" avrZv atto- 
Ixy/iiA.oiivfAcx.ffH', a KaXeTrai evayytXict, cvrwi; irapehuKav evTtrdXOui av-roTi; 
i\v 'l-^aroZv. P. 98, A. Vid. et p. 61, D. et 62. &c. 

'I p. 98, C. fin. 


Gospels in particular, he explains himself thus : 
" The apostles, in those commentaries of theirs which 
" are called Gospels ■"." He very frequently cites 
Luke's Gospel, in many places under the general 
name of the commentaries of the apostles ' ; and 
once in this manner : " In those commentaries which 
" were composed by his apostles, and those who fol- 
" lowed them ^" The last words are those made 
use of by St. Luke in the preface to his Gospel, 
which we translate, haviyig a perfect wider standing 
in all things''. But Justin Martyr and Eusebius 
understood it of his having followed the apostles ^. 
Justin Martyr has also a plain allusion to several 
passages in the Acts of the Apostles y, though none 
are expressly cited by him in that part of his works 
which are come to us. 

We have very few Christian writers elder than 
Justin, that have reached our time ; and what we 

'^ AVhat may confirm this is, that in proving our Lord foretold 
there should many false professors arise, he not only quotes pas- 
sages from the Gospels, but alludes to that of St. Paul in i Cor. 
xi. i8, 19. 

'^ Apol. p. 75, B. Dial. p. 327, B. 328, C. 33 i, B. 332, B. 333, 
C. Vid. p. 235, D. 

' 'El/ yap TOJ? airo/AV^j/AoveiJjUao-ii/ a. <p'iiM vizo tuv aT:o(TTo\uv avrov, koI 
ruv eKStvOK; na.paKoXovB'/iadvToov <jwTeTdxBcx,i. Dial. p. 33 I? D. 

''■ "ESo|e Kd,(j:.'H Ttccp-^KoXovO'/jKOTi avuOev itaaiv ocKpijBSi;. Luc. i. 3. 

" Oi? (^airapx^i avToit'caK; kcc) incfipitaUj roZ Xoyov) koI cpyjG-]v inuvuGev 
airao'i nrapvjKoXovB'/jKtvai . E. H. 1. 3- C. 4- P- 5^» fi'^" 

y Apol. p. 86, B. compared with Luc. xxiv. 49. Acts i. 4. 8. 
and ii. i, &c. p. 78, A. compared with Acts i. 4. 8. 26. and iv. 13. 
p. 76, D. 85, A. and 88, C. compared with Acts xiii. 27, 28. p. 91, 
A. compared with Acts viii. 9, 10, 1 1. p. 6i,B. compared with 
Acts xix. 1 8, 19. KpYijAciruv §6 Koi KTrif^druv ol mpovi; Ttavrot; ixaXKcv 
<n€pyovt((;, vvv koi a exof^ev eli; Komv (pepovTf^, koI icavr) hfOiA.€Vtj) koivuv- 
ovvTEi, p. 61, B. compared with Acts ii. 44, 45. 


have of their works are generally but occasional 
Epistles, in which it could not be expected that 
they should say much of the writings of the New 
Testament. However, there are plain allusions to 
the Acts of the Apostles in some of them, as parti- 
cularly in the few fragments we have of Papias, 
bishop of Hierapolis, preserved by Eusebius ''^ in the 
Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians % in one of 
the Epistles of Ignatius '', in St. Clement's Epistles 
to the Corinthians^, and in the Epistle of Bar- 
nabas ''. 

We learn also from the heresies broached in those 
early times, that tlie books of the New Testament 
were held sacred in the churches of Christ from the 
beginning. Basilides, who published his heresy soon 
after the apostle John's death, wrote twenty-four 
books upon the Gospel''. Valentine, Carpocrates, 
and other Gnostics, who flourished presently after in 
the emperor Adrian's time, received and acknow- 
ledged all the books of the New Testament as sa- 
cred and divine, though, by their mystical interpre- 
tation of certain passages in them, they made the 
vilest use of them imaginable. They founded their 
doctrines chiefly on some passages in St. Luke's 
Gospel. Cerdo and Marcion, who could not recon- 
cile their notions with the writings of the New Tes- 
tament, boldly rejected a great part of them; but 

'' E. H. I. 3. c. 39. p. 90. compared with xxi. 9. and i. 23, 24. 
" §. I. compared with Acts ii. 24. 

^ Ad Eph. §. 12. compared with Acts xix. 18. and xx. 24, 25. 
' I Ep. §. 42. n. 10. compared with Acts xiv. 23, and xx. 28. 
Ep. pr. compared with Acts x. 42. 
'' §. 7, fin. compared with Acts xiv. 22. 
'■ Eiiseb. E. II. 1. 4. c. 7. |). 97, A. fin. 


this very Marcion had before received and owned 
them ^ He published his Heresy very early. It is 
certain it was greatly spread before Justin Martyr 
offered his first Apology to the emperor. This is a 
clear proof that the Acts of the Apostles was re- 
ceived by all, both Christians and heretics, at the 
beginning of the second century : and how easy was 
it to look back from thence to the publishing it, 
which probably was some time between the years of 
Christ 63 and 69 ! 

f Tertull, de Came Christi, p. 308, B. 



A brief recapitulation of the things said in the 
last chaj)ter, together with the evidence thence 
arising of the truth and certainty of the prin- 
cipal matters related in the History of the Acts. 

I HAVE laid before you the clear proofs there 
are that St. Luke wrote the Acts of the Apostles. 
I have also shewn you that it was received by the 
Christians of the first ages as a sacred book. It 
brings down St. Paul's History to the year of Christ 
63 ; but proceeding no further, we thence conclude 
that it was written between that year and the year 
69, when St. Paul was beheaded. For had it been 
pubHshed after his death, it is reasonable to think 
that the historian would have given us an account 
of the rest of St. Paul's travels, and of his mar- 

It was a thing so notorious, that the Gospel ac- 
cording to St. Luke was published during the lives 
of the apostles, and many years before the destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem, that the enemies of Christianity 
could not deny it. Origen, to shew the prescience 
of our Saviour, instances in what he foretold con- 
cerning Jerusalem ; and then adds, " For certainly 
" they will not say that the apostles, and other im- 
" mediate followers of Jesus himself, delivered down 
" the doctrine of the Gospels without writing, and 
" left their disciples without written commentaries 
" of those things which relate to Jesus. Now it is 
" written in them, And ivhen ye shall see Jeriisa- 
" lem compassed with armies, then know that the 


" desolation thereof is nigh^. There were at that 
" time no armies encompassing Jerusalem and lay- 
" ing siege to it. For this began in the reign of 
" the emperor Nero, and continued to the govern- 
" ment of Vespasian, whose son Titus destroyed Je- 
" rusalem ''." The passage quoted from the Com- 
mentaries of Christ's disciples is to be found only in 
the Gospel according to St. Luke. And it is very 
evident that he understood it to be a thing well 
known, a thing that could not be disputed by Cel- 
sus, or any other enemy of the Christian religion, 
that several of the Gospels, and that of St. Luke in 
particular, was published before the reign of Nero. 
And some years before the conclusion of that reign 
probably was published ^evrepog >.oyog, or the second 
part, entitled. The Acts of the Apostles. 

It is the opinion of some very learned men, that 
the first Epistle of Clemens Romanus Avas written 
before the destruction of Jerusalem, because it speaks 
of the temple as then standing, and of the sacrifices 
and services as at that time performed^. And in 
one paragraph of that Epistle have we what may be 
called a brief epitome of the Acts of the Apostles ; 
which, according to the translation of our late 
learned archbishop, is thus : " The apostles having 
" received their command, and being thoroughly as- 

^ Luke xxi. 20. 

^ Ov yap Vfj rci^ ainov '\rj<ToZ yvuptiJi.ovi Koi uKpoaTai; ^'^aovcri ^up)^ 
yp(X(pr[i; t'/js' tuv ei^a'yycX/t!!' %apa,ti^uKevat dt^aaKaXiav, kcx) KaraXnceTv 
Toht; //taflijTa? %<»/)*? tSv Trepj 'Ivjo-oi! eV ypcifA.(A.aa-iv vTrs/AXTj/^aTwv" yiypaizxoi.h 
8^ Iv alt'Sic, TO, "Otolv 8e i'S^jre KVK'MV[/,ipYiv vi:h a-rpaToireiav t^v 'lepova-a- 
X^/A, Tore -yi/Sre or* '-qyy la-ev ij ip-^ixua-ii; ain-qi;' KCt) ov^a[/.Si; tote ^i/ arpct- 
ToVeSa irep* t*;)/ 'lepovo-aA^jt* kvkKoZvto, avrijv, koI mptexovTa, ko.) itoKtop- 
KOvvTa' toSto yap Yip^aro jW,ev €T( Nepwpoi; jSao-jXet-'ovTOij, k. t. X. Adv. 

Cels. 1. 2. p. 69. 1. 8. ^ §. 41. 

I i 2 


" sured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
" and convinced by tlie word of God, with the ful- 
" ness of the Holy Spirit, they went abroad publish- 
" ing, that the hhigdom of God ivas at hand. And 
" thus preaching through countries and cities, they 
" appointed the firstfruits of their conversions to be 
" bishops and deacons over such as should after- 
" wards believe, having first proved them by the 
" Spirit ^l" In his Second Epistle also is there a 
manifest allusion to an expression in the Acts of the 
Apostles '^. 

That Clemens firmly believed the inspiration of 
the books of the Old Testament, is evident from his 
own express words. For he exhorts the Corinthians 
thus : " Look into the holy scriptures, which are the 
" true words of the Holy Ghost f." And that he 
believed the same of the writings of the New Tes- 
tament, is no less evident, so far as his subject led 
him to speak of them. For, mentioning the Epistle 
of St. Paul to the Corinthians, he says, " In truth 
" he wrote an Epistle to you by the Spirit concern- 
" ing himself, and Cephas, and ApoUos s." And 
doubtless he had said the same thing of the other 
books, if he had had the same occasion particularly 
to name them. Agreeably hereto, in his Second 
Epistle, having quoted the prophecy of Isaiah, he 
immediately adds, " And another scripture saith," 

'' §. 42. Let this passage be compared with Acts xiv. 23. and 
xx. 28, And in what other History is the institution of deacons 
related but in the Acts of the Apostles ? 

•= §. I, pr. compared with Acts x. 42. R/jittj^ X,uvtuv koI venpuv. 

f I Ep. §. 45. 

P 'Ew' ctK'ffiiioLc, irv£vuaT</c£^ iitiajfiXiv tff.'iv vepl ainoZ re, Koi KvjipSi, 
xa) 'AttoXaco. I Ep. §. 47. 


citing words from St. Matthew's Gospel ''. And he 
more than once introduces the words of St. Luke's 
Gospel as the sayings of our Lord '. 

Ignatius, who had been bishop of Antioch forty- 
years ^, and suffered martyrdom in the year of 
Christ 107 or 110, or at the latest 116, distin- 
guishes the writings of the New Testament into the 
Gospel and the Apostles, (as we have before observed 
is done by Irenaeus, Clemens Alexandrinus, Tertul- 
lian, Origen, and Eusebius,) and professes the very 
highest regard for them. His words are these : 
" Your prayer to God shall make me perfect, that I 
" may attain to that portion which by God's mercy 
" is allotted to me ; fleeing to the gospel as to the 
" flesh of Christ, and to the apostles as to the pres- 
" bytery of the church. We also love the prophets, 
" because they have preached to us the things per- 
" taining to the gospel, and have hoped in Christ, 
*' and waited for him : in whom also believing, they 
" were saved I" His first and principal regard was 

'' §.2. i I Ep. §. 13, 46. 2 Ep. §. 4, fin. 5. 6. 8. 

^ Vid. Cave, Basnage, &c. 

' Ep. ad Philad. §.5. That this passage is to be understood 
of the scriptures, vid. Clerici Not. in loc. How could either the 
Gospel or the Apostles be spoken of as his refuge, or be a support 
and comfort to him under his present great sufferings, and ap- 
proaching martyrdom, if not expressed in writing, if not present 
to his view ? The Prophets, we know, were in writing, and by 
them he undoubtedly means the whole Old Testament, conse- 
quently by the Gospel and Apostles the New. And that he had 
a written Gospel in view is very plain from other parallel places 
in his Epistles. He exhorts the Smyrnaeans to avoid all conver- 
sation with the heretics, and to ajjply their minds and attend to 
the Prophets, but especially to the Gospel, Upoa-ixi'" §« to(V upotpr;- 
Ta<?, i^cciperax; 8e rw eCayytT^iu, in which both Christ's passion is 
manifested to us, and his resurrection perfectly declared, §. 7. 
li 3 


to the scriptures of the New Testament, and then 
to those of the Old, (expressed here by the pro- 
phets,) as confirming the former. He made the 
writings of the New Testament his refnge, fleeing 
to them for instruction, support, and comfort; 
esteeming the gospel as the sayings of Christ, and 
giving the same credit to what is therein related, as 
he would have done to our Lord himself when in 
the flesh ; esteeming the other writings of the New 
Testament as the presbytery of the church, or those 
officers who were commissioned by our Saviour to in- 
struct the whole Christian church in matters of faith 
and j)ractice, that is, giving them the same credit as to 
the apostles themselves when alive. I have already 
shewn you from TertuUian, that when the scrip- 
tures of the New Testament are divided into the 
Gospel and Apostles, the Acts of the Apostles is in- 
cluded in the latter ™. And in the Epistle of Igna- 
tius to the Ephesians there is a manifest allusion to 
that part of the History of the Acts which relates 
St. Paul's abode at Ephesus, and his sending for the 
Ephesian elders to take his final farewell of them ". 
And in the Acts of Ignatius's Martyrdom, written 
by some of those who accompanied him to Rome, it 
is said, " that when he was shewn Puteoli, he hast- 

And in the same Epistle, speaking of the heretics, he says, 
" whom neither the Prophecies nor the Law of Moses have per- 
" suaded, no, nor even the Gospel to this day." §. 5. Vid. Epist. 
ad Philad. §. 8, 9. That which renders this interpretation the 
more certain is, that Irenseus, who flourished in the middle of 
the same century, speaking of the Vaientinians, says, Ov y.ovov (k 
tuv iiayyikiKuv Koi rZv airoo'roAtKSv iifipuvTai tcc^ aTToSei^ei? ■noieTcrOat — 
aXXa Ko) e/c vo/xov kcu irpocpvjruv. L. I. C. 3. §. 6. p. I 7. 

"" P. 509- 

" §. 12. compared with Acts xix. and xx. 17, &c. 


" ened to go out of the ship, being desirous to 
" tread in the steps of the apostle Paul ;" most 
plainly alluding to St. Paul's landing there, as is 
related in the Acts of the Apostles ". 

Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, in that short Epistle 
which he wrote to the Phiiippians about the time of 
Ignatius's martyrdom, says, " I trust that ye are 
" well exercised in the holy scriptures ;" and then 
quotes as such a passage from the Epistle of St. Paul 
to the Ephesians p. He also plainly alludes to the 
history of St. Paul's preaching to, and converting 
the Phiiippians ^ : and makes use of a sentence 
spoi^en by St. Peter, related Acts ii. 24. Whom God 
hath raised up, having loosed the jxiins of death *". 

Papias, bishop of Hierapolis, who lived at the 
same time, and was intimately acquainted with Po- 
lycarp ^, wrote five books, entitled, The Exposition 
of our Lord's Oracles. There are but a very few 
fragments of these preserved, and even in these 
small remains the Acts of the Apostles is either 
expressly quoted, or most plainly referred to ^ 

There is no room to doubt but that they who first 
broached their heresies in the reigns of the emperors 

° §. lo. compared with Acts xxviii. 13, 14. 

P Confido enim vos bene exercitatos esse in sacris literis ; et 
nihil vos latet : mihi autem non est concessum modo. Ut his 
scripturis dictum est, Irascimini et nolite peccare : et, Sol non 
occidat super iracundiam vestram, §. 12. Compare Eph. iv. 26. 

'i §. 3. compared with Acts xvi. 12, &c. Vid. et §. i i. 

* Euseb. E. H. 1. 3. c. 36, pr. et 39, pr. 

^ Ibid. p. 90, B. It is not clear to me whether the citation be 
made by Eusebius or by Papias. If by Eusebius, he had reason 
doubtless to make that application from the words of Papias. 


Trajan and Hadrian, such as Saturninus, Basilides ", 
Carpocrates ^ and Valentine, received and acknow- 
ledged the Acts of the Apostles, as well as the Gos- 
pels and the Epistles. TertuUian expressly asserts 
of Valentine, that he made use of the entire Instru- 
ment y, that is, of all the books of the New Testa- 
ment, which were at that time received by the 
churches, of which it is most certain that TertuUian 
esteemed the Acts of the Apostles to be one. Valen- 
tine must have published his Heresy early in the 
reign of Hadrian, if not before : for during the reign 
of that emperor Justin Martyr wrote against his 
heresy ^. It is not at all improbable that he spent 
part of his time during the life of the apostle John ^. 
However, it is very plain from the pretensions of 
his followers that he was contemporary with the 
immediate disciples of the apostles : for they gave 
out that he received his doctrine from Theodas the 
scholar of the apostle Paul,' in the same manner as 
it was said of BasiHdes, that he had been the hearer 
of Glaucias the interpreter of the apostle Peter ^. 

Cerdo and Marcion, it is true, rejected three of 
the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles ; but Ter- 
tuUian assures us, that it appeared by an Epistle 

" Vid. Massuet. Dissert, Prsev. in Iren. p. 58 — 61. 

" Vid. Iren. 1. i. c. 25. §. 4. 

y De Praescript. Hseret. c. 38. p. 216, B. Vid. et Iren. 1. i. 
c. 3. §. 6. et c. 8. et 9. 

^ Vid. TertuU. adv. Valentin, c. 5. p. 252, B. Justin. Dial, 
cum Tryph. p. 253. Apol. p. 70. Massuet. Dissert. Praev. in Iren. 
p. i5-n. 6. 

" Vid. Grabe, Spicil. vol. 2. p. 46. et Massuet. Dissert. Praev. 
p. 16, pr. 

^ Clem. Alex. Strom. 1. 7. c. 17. p. 898. 1. 10. 


under Marcion's own hand, that before he published 
his heresy he acknowledged those books *^. Marcion 
had published his heresy in a great part of the 
world before Justin Martyr presented his first Apo- 
logy to the emperor Antoninus Pius ^, which it is 
thought he did in the year of Christ 139 or 145 ^ 
It is very evident therefore that the Acts of the 
Apostles was a book received and acknowledged by 
the churches long before that time. And indeed it 
is a constant, unanimous assertion of the ancients, 
and what they use as an irrefragable argument 
against those heretics who rejected or corrupted 
part of the sacred writings, that the scriptures of 
the New Testament were more ancient than the he- 
retics themselves, and were in the apostolic churches 
long before they published their heresies ^. I have 
already quoted a long passage from Tertullian to 
this purpose s : in another place, having cited a pas- 
sage from the Gospel of St. Luke, left out, I sup- 
pose, in that of Marcion, he adds, " Thus is it con- 
" tained in the Gospel published before Marcion '\" 

It appears to me nothing less than a demonstra- 
tion, that the books of the New Testament, at the 
beginning of the second century, had been long re- 
ceived by the churches as sacred, and held in the 

•^ Adv. Marcion. 1. i. c. i. p. 366, B. De Carne Christi, c. 2. 
p. 308, B. De Praescript. Haeret. c. 30. p. 212, B. 

'' Vid. Apol. P.-70, A. et p. 92, A. 

e See Massuet. Dissert. Prsev. in Iren. p. 15. 

f Vid. Iren. 1. 3. c. 21. §. 3, fin. 1. 5. c. 20. §.1,2. Clem. Alex. 
Strom. 1.7. §.17. p. 897, 898. Tertull. de Prsescript. Hgeret. 
c. 29, 30, &c. 

8 Adv. Marcion. 1. 4. c. 5. p. 415, 416. 

*' De Carne Christi, c. 7. p. 313, A. 


highest esteem by all Christians, because that most 
of the heretics which arose about that time pre- 
tended to acknowledge those books, and to found 
their doctrines upon what was written therein ' ; and 
others of them forged books under the same names, 
such as Gospels and Acts^s What occasion had they 
to do either the one or the other of these things, or 
how is there any accounting for their taking these 
measures, had not the books of the New Testament 
been now of a long, undoubted, and established cre- 
dit? In the same place that Tertullian informs us 
of Valentine's using the New Testament entire, he 
also tells us how vilely he wrested the words of it 
to bring them to his purpose. And Irenaeus fur- 
nishes us with many examples of that kind. Hera- 
cleon, a disciple of Valentine, wrote Commentaries, 
such as they were, upon the Gospels of St. Luke 
and St. John, frequently taken notice of and con- 
futed by the learned Origen in his Commentaries ^ 

Justin Martyr, in those remains of his which are 
come down to us, has several manifest allusions to 
the Acts of the Apostles, and without doubt includes 
them under the name of the Commentaries of the 
Apostles, which, as he informs the emperor in his 

' Vid. Iren. 1. i. c. i. §. 3, fin. et c. 3. §. 6. et c. 8. 1. 2. c. 10. 
§. r, 2. etc. 20. §. I, 2. 1. 4. c. 35. §. 4. 

^ Euseb. E. H. 1. 3. c. 25. p. 78, C. Iren. 1. 3. c. 1 1. §. 9. c. 2. 
Epipli. H«r. 30. §. 16. 

' Vid. Grab. Spicil. vol. 2. p. 83, &c. And agreeably hereto, 
Peregrin us, who turned Christian probably under Trajan, and con- 
tinued so during a great part of Hadrian's reign, is represented 
by Lucian as becoming very eminent among the Christians, ex- 
pounding some of their books, and composing many others. -Ka) 

Tuv /3i'^Awv rcci jAtv i^riyeiio, Koi 8»e<7a^)fr tsoKKck; Zi avtot; ko.) ^vi/eyparpf. 

De Morte Pereg. vol, 2. p. 762, B. C. 


Apology, were read in the Christian assemblies on 
Sundays '". 

Irenseus puts the Acts of the Apostles upon the 
same footing with the Gospel, which, he says, was 
committed to writing, that it might be the pillar 
and foundation of our faith. He gives us a brief 
account of the authors of the four Gospels, and the 
time when they wrote them ; and tells us, that 
Luke, the follower of the apostle Paul, who wrote 
the Gospel, wrote also the Acts of the Apostles. 
And, forasmuch as the apostles were elder than all 
the heretics, he appeals to their writings, and the 
writings of their followers, that is, as he himself ex- 
plains it, of Mark and Luke, in order to confute 
them ". And had not he the certain means of know- 
ing these things ? It was but in the year of Christ 
177 that he was made bishop of Lyons : probably 
he was well advanced in years before that time. 
However, he had been presbyter in the same church 
under Pothinus, who suffered martyrdom when he 
was above ninety years of age. He had also in his 
younger days been under the instruction of Poly- 
carp, who was ordained bishop of Smyrna by the 
apostles themselves, and had conversed familiarly 
with the apostle John many years. He speaks like- 

"1 The Acts of the Apostles is named by TertuUian Commenla- 
rius LuccE. De Jejun. c. lo. p. 549, B. 

" Etenim apostoli, cum sint his omnibus vetustiores, consonant 
preedlctse interpretationi, (i. e. LXX.) et interpretatio consonat 
apostolorum traditioni. Etenim Petrus, et Joannes, et Matthaeus, 
et Pauhis, et reliqui deinceps, et horum sectatores, prophetica 
omnia ita annuntiaverunt, quemadmodum seniorum interpretatio 
continet. L. 3. c. 21. §. 3, fin. Let this be compared with cap. 1. 
§. I. 


wise of other ancient Christians, who had conversed 
with the apostles, and their immediate disciples, as 
persons of his acquaintance. It is most certain there- 
fore he could not but well know what regard was 
paid by the Christian church to the Gospels and 
Acts of the Apostles from the very beginning. 

I have also shewn you that Clemens of Alexan- 
dria, TertuUian, Origen, Cyprian, and Eusebius, es- 
teemed the Acts of the Apostles a sacred book ; and 
that TertuUian, Origen, and Eusebius fully declare 
that it was always so esteemed in the churches of 
Christ from the beginning. 

I now proceed to lay before you the arguments 
hence arising for the truth of the facts related in 
this History. The facts related are of so uncommon 
a nature, and so circumstantially told, that it is not 
possible to conceive this book should ever have been 
held sacred, had they not been most notoriously 
true. Could we suppose the Christians so unwise 
to receive such a book, and read it in their assem- 
blies, although the facts contained in it were not 
true ; what end could it possibly serve but to ruin 
their cause ? Would not their new converts startle 
at the hearing from time to time rehearsed things 
of so strange a nature, which they could not but 
know were entirely groundless? Would not this 
drive them away from their assemblies, give them 
a bad impression of Christianity, and make them 
wholly averse to it? Would they not also publish 
the reason of their conduct, and prevent others from 
embracing a religion which had consecrated so many 
untruths? Or if we can imagine that Christians 
could sit easy and contented under the hearing of 
so many falsehoods, were not the enemies of Chris- 


tianity always upon the watch to take every advan- 
tage against them ? Must not this book have soon 
fallen into the hands of some of them ? And would 
not they have exposed the falsehood of what is re- 
lated to the whole world, and so have put a stop to 
the progress of the Christian religion ? 

A particular consideration of some of the facts 
themselves will explain and clear this matter to you. 
The miraculous descent of the Holy Ghost on the 
day of Pentecost; the cure of the lame man that 
sat at the Beautiful gate of the temple ; the death 
of Ananias and Sapphira; and the many miracles 
wrought by the apostles in Jerusalem ° ; insomuch 
that it is said, they brought the sick into the streets^ 
and laid them on beds and couches, that at least 
the shadow of Peter passing by anight overshadow 
some of them. And that there came also a multi- 
tude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem^ 
bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed 
with unclean spirits : and they were healed every 
one; these are things of so extraordinary a nature, 
that, if true, must easily have been confirmed many 
years after they happened. For certainly they must 
make a deep and lasting impression on the memories 
of all who were eyewitnesses, much more on those 
who were actually healed, as well as on all those 
who were related to them, and had any real concern 
for their welfare. If therefore there were not many 
persons to be found fifty or sixty years after these 
things are said to have happened, who could give 
testimony to their truth, no doubt they must have 
been looked upon as absolute falsehoods. 

" Acts V. 1 2, &c. vi. 8. 


In like manner the miracles done in the city of 
Samaria, where it is said, that many tahen with pal- 
sies, and that were lame, icere healed \\ at the sight 
of which even Simon the sorcerer became a convert, 
and the conferring the miraculous gifts of the Holy 
Ghost l)y laying on the hands of the apostles ^, were 
things which must necessarily have admitted an easy 
and clear proof fifty or sixty years after they hap- 
pened, if true. For if the persons themselves who 
were healed did not live so long, yet doubtless many 
of their relations and acquaintance must: and if the 
persons who at that time received the extraordinary 
gifts of the Spirit did not continue so long in life, 
yet doubtless many who were eyewitnesses of their 
exercising them, and some who had been cured of 
distempers, or freed from evil spirits by them, must. 

And should we advance one step further, and ad- 
mit of proof by hearsay, no doubt but the knowledge 
of these things must have been continued down by 
immediate tradition as many years longer. For such 
wonderful events could not but create much dis- 
course, and must have been long talked of. And 
without all doubt there must have been many per- 
sons liv^ing a hundred years after these facts are said 
to have been performed who received a relation of 
them, either from those who had been eyewitnesses 
of the fact, or at least had conversed with the per- 
sons themselves who had been healed. And indeed 
if there were not many persons to be found a hun- 
dred years after these tilings are said to have hap- 
pened who had been fully informed of them from 
good and authentic hands, it would have been taken 

1' Acts viii. 6, 7. n Acts viii. 17. 


for granted by all wise men that there was no truth 
in them. 

The bitter persecution carried on by Saul, and his 
miraculous conversion '', are rejiresented as facts of 
so notorious a nature, that, if true, there must have 
remained good evidence of their truth many years 
after. Likewise Peter's healing Jilneas, who had 
been bedrid with the palsy eight years ^; and his 
raising Dorcas from the dead at Joppa'. It is ex- 
pressly said of iEneas, that all who dwelt at Lydda 
and Saron saw him after he was healed. And of 
the latter fact, that it was hnown throughout all 
Jojypa. If there remained no remembrance of things 
so remarkable as these, when this book first came 
among the Christians in that part of Judaea, can it 
be thought they would have received it, and held it 
as sacred ? 

The conversion of Cornelius and his family by 
the apostle Peter is represented as having been im- 
mediately known to the Jewish Christians, who were 
highly offended at it, and called Peter to a strict 
account for having preached the gospel to a hea- 
then ". Caesarea was the seat of the Roman go- 
vernor, and Cornelius a centurion in the Roman 
army. Would the Christian church at Csesarea have 
received a book giving: such a relation, had there 
not remained in that city sufficient evidence of tlie 
fact ? Herod Agrippa's imprisonment of the apostle 
Peter, and the apostle's miraculous deliverance out 
of prison, together with the execution of the keepers, 
were things of the most public nature, and that could 
not but be long remembered "". 

"■ Acts ix. ^ Acts ix. 32. ' Acts ix. 36. " Acts xi. 

^ Acts xii. 


But, leaving Judaea and Syria, let us accompany 
the apostle Paul in his travels thence into the 
western part of the world. When he came to Pa- 
phos in Cyprus, it is said that he struck Elymas the 
sorcerer blind, and thereby so opened the eyes of 
Sergius Paulus the Roman proconsul, that he be- 
came a convert to the Christian religion y. This is 
a thing which, if true, must have been immediately 
known throughout the whole island : and the im- 
pression it must have made on men's minds must 
have been durable ; so that a firm and credible tra- 
dition of it must have remained there many years. 
And if sixty, or indeed a hundred years after, there 
appeared no footsteps of such a tradition, who would 
have believed the fact ? who would have given en- 
couragement to a book relating such a fact ? Is it 
credible that the Christian churches in Cyprus, and 
there were not a few even from the times of the 
apostles, would hold such a book as sacred, had there 
not been undeniable evidence of the truth of what it 
relates, as having happened in their own island ? 

It is said of Paul and Barnabas, when they came 
to Iconium, that they abode there a long time, 
speaJihig boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony 
unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and 
wonders to he done by their hands ^. And when 
they were come to Lystra in Lycaonia, it is said, 
Paul healed a man lame from his mother's womb, 
which occasioned so great admiration, that the people 
of the city thought the gods had visited them in the 
likeness of men, and took Barnabas for Jupiter, and 
Paul for Mercury. And the priest of Jupiter brought 

>' Acts xiii. 6, &c. ''■ Acts xiv. 3. 


oxen and garlands to the gates of the house where 
they lodged, in order to have done sacrifice to them ; 
and it was with no small difficulty they were pre- 
vented. Howbeit afterwards, by the pei-suasion of 
the Jews who came from Antioch and Iconium, they 
so far changed their opinion, that they stoned Paul, 
and drew him out of their city, leaving him for 
dead: that notwithstanding, when the multitude 
was dispersed, he rose up unhurt, and returned into 
the city ^ Could any thing be more open and pub- 
lic than this is related to have been ? Must it not, 
if true, have been well known to every person in 
Lystra? Could any events strike them deeper, or 
make a more lasting impression on their minds ; 
especially on those of the younger people ? Must 
there not have been living evidence of these facts 
very many years after? And is it possible that a 
book relating these facts could gain any credit at 
Lystra, had not their truth been most notorious? 
Or is it conceivable, that the Christian churches in 
Antioch, in Iconium, in Derbe, (for from the rela- 
tion it is evident that these cities also must have 
been well apprised of the same facts,) any more than 
in Lystra, would have held this book sacred ? And 
as to Iconium, I have already observed, it is ex- 
pressly said, miraculous works were performed 

Let us next pass on to Philippi in Macedonia : 
how surprising are the events, how extraordinary 
the circumstances, which are said to have happened 
in that city ! The conversion of Lydia : the casting 
out the spirit of divination : the tumult raised by 

•'' Acts xiv. 8, &c. 


the masters of the damsel : the rashness and seve- 
rity of the magistrates : the imprisonment of Paul 
and Silas : the miraculous opening the prison doors 
without one prisoner's making his escape : the con- 
version of the gaoler : the remorse of the magistrates 
for what they had done, and their honourable dis- 
mission of Paul and Silas ^. If these things were 
so, must they not have been notoriously known, not 
only to every person in Philippi, but in the country 
and towns round about ? And for many years after 
must there not have been found the clearest evidence 
of these facts, not only in the gaoler's family, but 
many other families of the city of Philippi? 

Did the Christian church in that city receive the 
Acts of the Apostles as a sacred book, or did they 
not ? If any credit may be given to the writings of 
the ancients, it is a certain fact that they did. But 
is it possible to conceive they should, had it not 
been well known that the events related therein, as 
having fallen out in that city, were true ? What 
otherwise could they propose to themselves in so 
doing? Must it not have put an entire stop to the 
progress of Christianity both there and in all the 
country round it ? For when converts came to per- 
ceive that such notorious lies were received for sa- 
cred truths, would they have remained Christians? 
and that under all the disadvantages which Chris- 
tians at that time suffered ? Would they endure the 
loss of all things, and even hazard their lives, when 
they found themselves so strangely imposed upon ? 
Is it at all probable ? is it like human nature ? 

It was about the year of Christ 51 or 52 that St. 

'' Acts xvi. 14, &c. 


Paul was at Philippi : and it was but twelve or 
thirteen years after these things are said to have 
happened that the History of the Acts was pub- 
lished. It is highly probable therefore that this 
book was received by the Christian church in that 
city when all things were recent, and in every one's 
memory. But should we suppose, for argument's 
sake, that it was not received by them till sixty or 
seventy years after the events related are said to 
have fallen out : at which time it is abundantly evi- 
dent that it was in the hands of all, both Christians 
and heretics, and held by them as sacred, and in- 
deed had for a long time been esteemed so : how 
easy was it to look back, and examine the truth ? 
If there were no persons living who were eyewit- 
nesses of the facts, (of whom, if true, it is probable 
there must have been some,) there must however 
have been hundreds that had received an account 
thereof from those who were eyewitnesses. And if 
the converts to Christianity did not find a plain, clear, 
and full tradition in that city, and the country round 
about, that these things were so, must they not have 
concluded that they were imposed upon ? 

It is related of St. Paul afterwards, that he 
preached at Thessalonica, Beroea, and Athens *^. 
Must not the Christian churches in those cities well 
know whether St. Paul was their founder? It is 
said, that at Thessalonica there was a tumult raised, 
and an assault made upon the house of one Jason, 
because he had received the apostle ; and that they 
drew Jason and other Christians before the magis- 
trates of the city, who took security of them ''. Must 

■=■ Acts xvii. '• Ver. 5 — 9. 

K k 2 


not these things have been well known? Must it 
not hav^e appeared even in the records of the city 
itself whether the magistrates took security of Ja- 
son and his friends ? Must not St. Paul's preaching 
at Areopagus have been a thing most public ? And 
must it not be well known, if a person of such emi- 
nence as Dionysius the Areopagite became his con- 
vert ^ ? 

St. Paul's stay at Corinth is represented as consi- 
derable ; that he lodged in the house of one Justus 
adjoining to the synagogue; and that Crispus the 
chief ruler of the synagogue became his convert 
with all his family ; and that many of the Corin- 
thians believed and were baptized, so that he had 
there a very large harvest ; that the Jews made an 
insurrection, and brought him before Gallio the pro- 
consul of Achaia ; and that Sosthenes the chief ruler 
of the synagogue was beaten openly in the presence^ 
of the judge. It was but ten or eleven years after 
these things are said to have happened that the Acts 
of the Apostles were published. If true therefore, 
these things must have been fresh in every one's 
mind when this book first came to Corinth ; and if 
false, must have been most easily confuted. The 
apostle in his Epistles to the church of Corinth 
acknowledges that Crispus was baptized by him, 
and Sosthenes joins with him in writing the First 
Epistle. He says also, that signs and wonders and 
mighty deeds were wrought amongst them ^, and 
that the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit were 
conferred on and divided among them ^. These 

Ver. 19. 22, &c. f Acts xviii. s 2 Cor. xii. 12, 

I Cor. xii. and xiv. 26, &c. 


Epistles were written not above three years after he 
is represented in the Acts as having lived with them, 
and founded their church. Is it possible to think 
that they would have received his Epistles, and held 
them as sacred, had they not well known things to 
have been as he there represents them ? The first 
of these Epistles is expressly mentioned and referred 
to by Clemens Romanus in his first Epistle to the 
same church ', written before the destruction of Je- 
rusalem ^, and soon after the Acts of the Apostles 
were published, or, as some think, in the reign of 
Domitian, and a few years before the close of the 
first century ^ 

At Ephesus St. Paul is represented as having con- 
ferred the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit on 
twelve men that had known only the baptism of 
John. It is said that he disputed in the synagogue 
three months, and in the school of Tyrannus two 
years, so that all the people dwelling in the district 
of Asia round about heard the word of the Lord 
Jesus, both Jews and Greeks ; and that God wrought 
special miracles by his hands, so that from his body 
were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, 
and the diseases departed from them, and the evil 
spirits went out of them ; that seven sons of one 
Sceva a Jew, and chief of the priests, attempting to 
cast out an evil spirit in the name of Jesus, whom 
Paul preached, the man, in whom the evil spirit was, 
leaped on them, and overcame them, so that they 
fled out of the house naked and wounded. And it 
is expressly added, that this was known to all the 

' §. 47, pr. ^ See Wake's Discourse, §. 15, 16, 17. 

' Cotelerius. 

K k 3 


Jews and Greels also dwelling at Ephesus. Many 
also, who used magical arts, becoming converts to 
the Christian religion, burnt their books, which were 
of a considerable value, publicly before all men. 
After this a tumult^ being raised by Demetrius and 
his craftsmen against Paul, was with difficulty sup- 
pressed by the town clerk '". 

Ephesus was one of the most noted cities in Asia 
Minor '^, large and populous, had a good port, and a 
great trade. The things related are spoken as pub- 
licly done, and known to all. They were also of 
such a nature as must necessarily excite men's cu- 
riosity and attention, beget much talk, and spread 
themselves wide. And they fell out not above seven 
or eight years before the Acts of the Apostles was 
published. Is it possible to conceive, that the Chris- 
tian church at Ephesus could receive a book relat- 
ing such events, had they not been well known 
facts ? It is a thing with me beyond doubt, that the 
Acts of the Apostles was no sooner written than it 
was dispersed throughout the churches. There is 
not so much as a shadow of a reason to be offered 
against this, and many strong reasons to incline us 
to believe it. And if the church of Ephesus re- 
ceived this book within eight years after these 
things are said to have happened, is not the conse- 
quence obvious? Must it not have put an entire 
stop to Christianity in all that country, had not the 
facts related been most notoriously true, and known 
to all? But should we, to allow scope for argument, 

'^ Acts xix. 

" The proconsul of Asia was obliged lo go to his province by 
sea, and to put in first at the metropolis of Ephesus, i. 4. §. 5. ff. 
de Offic. I'roc. 


suppose it was sixty years after the event before 
this book was brought to that church, aud received 
by them as sacred ; and we well know, that before 
that time it was in the hands of both Christians and 
heretics, and of established authority as a sacred 
book ; if these events were true, must there not 
have been many persons living at that time who re- 
membered them ? What ! not many persons who 
could look back sixty years in so large a city as that 
of Ephesus ? Possibly there might be some living 
whom Paul healed : but if there were not, it is 
most certain there must have been many, very 
many, who knew them, and conversed with them. 
Could things of so strange and surprising a nature 
be so soon forgot? If there remained no footsteps of 
them in so short a time after, is it to be thought 
there could be found many persons who would give 
credit to them, and this when it was so contrary to 
their interests, when they were exposed to so many 
hardships, and even to the hazard of their lives, for 
professing themselves Christians ? 

St. Paul's raising Eutychus at Troas " must have 
been a thing well known to the Christians there ; 
otherwise would they have received this book ? His 
appeal to Caesar, his being sent to Rome, his ship- 
wreck at Melita, his being unhurt by the viper 
which had fastened on him, his healing the father 
of Publius, the chief man of the island, of a bloody 
flux, and his curing others which had diseases in 
the island P, were things all of them public, and 
some of them very surprising, and happened but 
about three years before the Acts of the Apostles 

" Acts XX, 9 — 12. P Acts xxvii. and xxviii. 

K k 4 


was published. Would the Christians in Melita 
have received such a book, had not these facts been 
well known to them ? 

It is further said, that St. Paul having been 
brought a prisoner to Rome, continued there two 
years preaching the gospel in his own hired house '^ 
The Christians at Rome had opportunity also of in- 
forming themselves in most of the great events re- 
lated in the History of the Acts : for that, being the 
seat of the empire, was the centre to which persons 
flocked from all parts of the world. And it was 
easy to inquire of those who came from Judaea, from 
Philippi, from Thessalonica, from Corinth, from 
Ephesus, from Troas, from Melita, what truth there 
was in the things that are said to have happened in 
those places. And had they not been fully con- 
vinced of their truth, would they have held this 
book as sacred ? 

The sum of the evidence is this : The Acts of the 
Apostles, containing an history of thirty years, was 
published soon after the time in which it ends. Ire- ^ 
nreus tells us the Gospel of St. Luke was published 
after the departure of Peter and Paul. Most under- 
stand herejjy, after their decease : others, I think, 
with more reason, understand it of their departure 
from the city of Rome, i. e. about the year of Christ 
63, at which time the History of the Acts ends; 
and very proljably it was soon after, or about the 
year of Christ 64, that Luke published the Acts of 
the Apostles. Otherwise we might reasonably ex- 
pect that it should have proceeded further with the 
account of St. Paul's travels. 

T Acts xxviii. 30, 31. 


This History giving a clear and distinct narration 
of the wonderful descent of the Holy Ghost on the 
day of Pentecost, and the amazing effects thereof; 
the planting of Christian churches in Judaea, Syria, 
Asia Minor, Macedonia, Greece, and other parts, 
together with the miraculous means made use of to 
accomplish it, naming places, persons, circumstances, 
sometimes persons of the higiiest rank in the great- 
est and most populous cities ; and being received by 
those very churches, whose history it relates, whilst 
all things were yet fresh in every one's memory, 
had not the facts contained therein been most noto- 
riously true, must certainly have put an entire stop 
to the progress of Christianity, and in a short time 
have wholly ruined it. For is it to be thought, that 
persons newly converted could with any patience 
bear that a book full of the most palpable falsehoods 
should be held sacred, and read in their assemblies ? 
It is not easy to suppose that any Christians should 
receive such a book. What end could it serve? 
But certainly, when new converts came to be let 
into this secret, it would shock them to a high de- 
gree, and give them the greatest aversion to the 
Christian religion. 

Ancient writers agree that this book was unani- 
mously received by the Christian churches from the 
beginning. The Gospel of St. Luke, which is the 
former part of this work, is cited by Clemens Ro- 
manus"", and by Barnabas^: and certain passages in 
the Acts of the Apostles are also alluded to by them, 
which is a demonstration that it was published about 

^ 1 Epist. §. 13. 17. 2 Ep. §. 4, fin. 6, pr. et 8, fin. 
^§.19, prop, fin. 


the time I have mentioned, or very soon after. At 
the beginning of the second century it is most plainly 
alluded to by Ignatius, by his -fellow-travellers and 
companions, in the account they give of his martyr- 
dom, and by Poly carp, who wrote at latest about 
the year of Christ 116. And indeed it had been 
now long esteemed a sacred book, and of established 
authority. What else could induce the heretics of 
this time to acknowledge it as such, or to forge 
other books under the like name * ? 

Should any one, at the time these heresies were 
first published, have made an inquiry, it was no dif- 
ficult matter to learn whether the facts related in 
this book were true or not. Let us suppose one to 
have looked back so late as from the year of Christ 
1 20, might it not have been known from many then 
living at Rome, whether St, Paul dwelt at Rome, 
and preached the gospel in his own hired house, 
during the years of Christ 62 and 63 ? Can it be 
thought, that in so immense a city as Rome was, 
there were not very great numbers who could look 
back fifty-seven or fifty-eight years ? Might it not 
also have been known from many then living in the 
isle of Melita, whether St. Paul had been ship- 
wrecked upon that island, healed the father of Pub- 
lius the chief man of the island, and many other 
diseased persons, in the year of Christ 61, that is, 
fifty-nine years before ? Might it not have been 

^ Such as the Acts of Peter, Euseb. E. H. 1. 3. c. 3; and the 
Acts of Andrew, John, and the other apostles. Ibid. I. 3. c. 25. 
The Acts of Paul seem to have been written, like the Gospel ac- 
cording to the Hebrews, by some uninspired person, containing 
many truths, and is not reckoned among the heretical. Ibid. c. 3. 
p. 57, fin. Vid. Grab. Spicileg. 


known at Ephesus, whether the wonderful things 
reported in this book were performed in that" city in 
the years of Christ 56 and 57, that is, sixty-three 
years before ? And might it not have been known 
at Philippi, whether the things said to have hap- 
pened there in the year 54, that is, sixty-six years 
before, so fell out or not ? What was more easy than 
to have confuted these stories, even at that distance 
of time, had they not been undeniably true ? 

But let us descend further, to the time of Irenasus, 
who was made bishop of Lyons in the year of Christ 
177. In his works are very many direct and ex- 
press quotations from the Acts of the Apostles, and 
an abstract of a large part thereof. Fie represents 
this book as equally necessary to be received with 
the Gospel, and avers the truth of the things which 
are related in it ". And had he not the certain 
means of knowing whether they were true or not ? 
Unquestionably he had. He had been some time 
presbyter under Pothinus, who died for the testi- 
mony of Jesus at above ninety years of age. Po- 
thinus therefore was born in the year of Christ 86. 
Might not he, in his younger days, have learnt from 
innumerable persons the truth of these facts ? The 
churches of Lyons and Vienna joined in writing a 
letter to the churches of Asia and Phrygia, giving 
an account of the martyrdom and sufferings of Po- 
thinus, and many of their brethren. And it is evi- 

" Omnibus his cum adesset Lucas, diligenter conscripsit ea, uti 
neque mendax, neque elatus deprehendi possit, eo quod omnia 
haec constarent, et seniorem eum esse omnibus, qui nunc aliud 
decent, neque ignorare veritatem, 1. 3. c. 14. §. i. Neque Lucam 
mendacem esse possunt ostendere, veritatem nobis cum omnidili- 
gentia annuntiantem, c. 15. §. r. 


dent from this Epistle, that the martyrs and confess- 
ors of those two Gallic churches had before their 
eyes the example of the protomartyr Stephen, as 
related in the Acts of the Apostles ''. But would 
they have had any regard to such an example, had 
they not been fully persuaded of its truth? Or is it 
in the least credible, that they should be encouraged 
to suffer imprisonments, racks, tortures, and the 
most cruel, lingering, painful deaths, for the sake of 
the Christian religion, had they not been first fully 
satisfied that the facts reported in this book, which 
was held sacred among them, were true ? 

Irenaeus, in his younger days, was under the in- 
struction of Polycarp, ordained bishop of Smyrna by 
the apostles. Must not Polycarp well know whether 
the events recorded in the Acts of the Apostles were 
true or not ? He had conversed familiarly, not only 
with the apostle John, but others also of the apostles. 
Smyrna was not so far from Ephesus but Polycarp 
went frequently thither to visit the apostle John, 
when he resided in that city. Most certainly then 
he must be well acquainted at least with what is 
said to have happened there, and with all those oc- 
currences in which the apostle John is represented 
as having any part. Is it to be thought that he 
would have suffered martyrdom for the sake of the 
Christian religion, as it is certain he did, had he not 
been well assured that the things reported in the 
Acts of the Apostles were true ? Irenaeus was also 
acquainted with other ancient Christians who had 
conversed with the apostles, from whom he might 
learn the truth of this History. And when he was 

^ Vid. Eiiseb. E. H. 1. 5. c. 2. p. 135, C. 


at Smyrna with Polycarp, how easily might he have 
gone to Ephesus, and have satisfied himself of the 
truth of those things which are related to have hap- 
pened there ? Quadratus, in his Apology to the em- 
peror Fladrian, asserts that there were persons living 
even to his time, who had been healed by our jjlessed 
Lord y. It is possible there might some live to the 
time of Irenaeus, who had been cured by the apostle 
Paul at Ephesus. However, it is unquestionable, 
there must have been many of their acquaintance 
then living, from whom he might receive a very 
clear and certain information of the truth of the 
facts. Though doubtless that which most fully con- 
firmed Irenaeus, and the other ancient fathers, in 
the belief of this History, and left no room for he- 
sitation, were the remains of the same miraculous 
gifts continued in the church in their time. They 
saw things of the same wonderful nature performed 
with their own eyes, as I have already shewn you 
from their writings. 

But to give infidelity the greatest scope possible, 
let us suppose that the Christians of the first ages 
were such fools to hold this book as sacred, although 
they knew the facts contained therein were not true, 
and that they willingly exposed themselves to the 
loss of all things, and of life itself, under a pretence 
of believing these and the like facts, knowing them 
to be false. It is certain, this is little else than an 
impossible supposition. However, for argument's 
sake, let us at present suppose it. What were the 
enemies of Christianity all this while doing ? How 
came it to pass that they did not publish this to the 

y Euseb. E. H. 1. 4. c. 3. 


world, and lay open the knavery and folly of Chris- 
tians ? Was their enmity towards them so little that 
they would have spared them if they had known 
this? If so, why did they persecute them, harass 
them, fine them, imprison them, torture them, and 
put them to the most cruel deaths ? or was this kept 
a secret from their enemies ? But is it likely that a 
book which was in the hands of so many could be 
long concealed ? Were there no half Christians, no 
false brethren, to betray such a secret ? How many 
were there from time to time who fell off from the 
Christian religion ! Would none of them discover 
this book ? How many heretics had it in their pos- 
session, who professed it as their principle, that they 
ought not to suffer for their religion ! Would none 
of them shew it ? It is a thing indeed next to im- 
possible to suppose that this book was not in the 
hands of many, both Jews and heathen, within a 
few years after it was published. 

TertuUian in his Apology calls upon the Roman 
powers to look into the books held sacred by the 
Christians. And at the same time that he says 
many accidents had put them into the hands of the 
heathen, he also affirms that it was not the way of 
the Christians to conceal them ^. And we very plainly 
see that Trypho the Jew % and Celsus the Epicurean'', 
had read them : and no doubt many of the enemies 
of Christianity long before their time had perused 

^ Inspice Dei voces, literas nostras, quas neqiie ipsi siipj^rimi- 
mus, et plerique casus ad extraneos transferunt. C. 31, pr. p. 27, 
C. fin. 

•'■ Vid. Just. Mar. Dial. p. 98, a. et 227, B. et 235, D. 

^ Vid. Orig. adv. Cels. 1. i. p. 1 1, pr. 1. 2. p. 77. 1. 5. p. 273. 
1. 6. p. 275, 276. 286, m. 1. 7. p. 343. 


them. Would not they have confuted the things 
herein related, when it might have been so easily 
done, had they not been true? Was not this the 
sure method to suppress the growth of Christianity, 
and wholly overthrow it ? 

But supposing, which is indeed almost an impos- 
sible supposition, that no enemy of Christianity had 
seen the Acts of the Apostles till Trypho and Celsus: 
might not they have shewn the falsity of the facts 
related therein, had they not been true ? They both 
lived in the time of the emperor Hadrian ; but we 
will suppose they began not an inquiry into the 
truth of these things till the beginning of the reign 
of the emperor Antoninus Pius, or about the year 
of Christ 137. Might they not at that distance of 
time have easily satisfied themselves of the truth or 
falsity hereof? Trypho was both at Corinth and at 
Ephesus. It was but fourscore years before, that 
St. Paul is reported to have done his miraculous 
cures in the city of Ephesus. And should we allow 
that there were none then living who were St. Paul's 
converts, or had been cured by him, yet what num- 
bers of their immediate descendants, how many that 
had seen and conversed with them must there have 
been living at that time ! How strong must have 
been the tradition of the wonders performed ! 

In fine, had either Trypho or Celsus, or any other 
of the enemies of Christianity in their time, made it 
appear to the world, that, upon a strict scrutiny into 
the facts related, there was found little or no tra- 
dition of them remaining in the places where they 
are said to have happened, they had done much 
more to the overthrow of the Christian religion 


than by all the other arguments they made use of, 
or methods they employed. But forasmuch as they 
did not make this appear, is it not a clear case that 
they could not, and a convincing proof of the truth 
of these facts ? 



The evulence of the truth of Christianity arising 
from the principal matters related in the His- 
tory of the Acts. 

I PROCEED now to the fourth general head, 
and shall lay before you the incontestible evidence 
these facts afford of the truth of Christianity. The 
facts are, that Jesus Christ, after a long course of 
miracles wrought for the benefit of mankind, was 
put to death at the instigation of the Jewish rulers ^; 
that he arose from the dead, was seen of, and con- 
versed with his disciples forty days ^ and then 
ascended into heaven in their sight ^ ; that before 
he ascended he ordered them to wait in Jerusalem 
for the promise of the Father, which was, that the 
Holy Ghost should come upon them, and endue 
them with power to be his witnesses, not only in 
Jerusalem, Judaea, and Samaria, but to the utter- 
most parts of the earth ; and that this promise 
should be fulfilled within a few days '' ; that his dis- 
ciples being accordingly met together in Jerusalem 
on the day of Pentecost, that is, about ten days after 
his ascension, the Spirit of God descended on them 
in a most astonishing manner, enabling them to de- 
clare the wonderful works of God in a great variety 
of languages, which they had never learnt^. This 
was not only foretold by our Saviour, but had been 
long before prophesied of, and promised by Joel^ 

^ Acts ii. 22, 23. V. 30. and x. 38, 39. 

^ Acts X. 40, 41. ii. 24. 32. and i. 3. c fi^^,^^ \ 2,9^ &c. 

<' Acts i. 4, 5, 8. "^ Acts ii. i — t 2. •" Acts ii. 16. &c. 



And in consequence of these miraculous gifts, the 
disciples courageously proceeded in executing the 
commission given them by their Master, bearing 
witness of his resurrection, not only before the com- 
mon people of the Jews ^, but before the Jewish ma- 
gistrates themselves^, openly declaring that they had 
crucified their Messiah. They confirmed the testi- 
mony they gave to the resurrection of Jesus, both 
among Jews and heathens, by the performance of 
the greatest wonders', such as restoring decayed 
limbs'^, healing the sick, curing the paralytic ^ and 
raising the dead'". And they conferred the like 
wonderful powers on others by laying on them their 
hands ". 

For my part, I cannot persuade myself that there 
ever was that man in the world who believed these 
facts, and was not at the same time convinced in his 
own mind of the truth of the Christian religion. 
Whatever men may pretend or say for argument's 
sake, if once they assent to these facts as true, I 
make not the least doubt but the conclusion thence 
arising in their own breasts is, that the Christian 
revelation is divine. I am not now speaking of a 
partial belief of the facts related, such as many, both 
Jews and heathen, might entertain, who imputed 
them to art magic ; but I am speaking of those who 
have read, considered, and give credit to the whole 

I think it scarce possible but that the faith of 
every man who believes the facts here related must 

^ Acts ii. and iii. 15. '' Acts iv. 10. and v. 30, 31. 

' Acts iv. 33. V. 12, &c. viii. 7. xiv. 3. and xix. 11, 12. 

^ Acts iii. 7. and xiv. 10. ' Acts ix. 34. 

"^ Acts ix. 40. and xx. 9. 1 2. " Acts viii. 15. 17. and xix. 6. 


at least carry him thus far, that the blessed Jesus, 
who did such great things for the benefit of mankind 
when on earth, and after his ascension to heaven 
empowered his disciples to do the like, is abundantly 
able to do for his followers all that he has promised, 
that is, raise them from the dead, receive them to 
himself, and make them happy. If we believe that 
he gave health to the diseased, strength to the weak, 
motion to the paralytic, reason to the lunatic, and 
life to the dead, when conversant here on earth ; if 
we believe that he arose himself from the dead, and 
for a long course of years after his ascension per- 
formed the same beneficial works for mankind by 
his followers, not only curing the sick and lame, but 
also raising the dead ; what should hinder us from 
believing that he is still able to perform the same, 
and that according to his promise he certainly will 
raise all the dead, and bestow rewards and punish- 
ments suitable to the behaviour of each one in the 
present life ? 

When he was here upon earth, and had performed 
some great and eminent cures, it begat in the people 
a firm persuasion that he was able to do more of the 
same kind. This occasioned so great flocking after 
him, and their bringing from all parts diseased, 
maimed, and paralytic subjects to him. They made 
no doubt but what he had done he was still able to 
do, and we never find that he once disappointed 
them. Ought not the same reasoning to prevail 
with us ? is it not easy ? is it not natural ? If we 
believe that he raised the dead, when living upon 
earth, that he arose himself from the dead, and that 
he continued to raise the dead long after his ascen- 
sion to heaven by the powers he communicated to 
L 1 2 


his followers, have we not the justest reason to con- 
clude that he is now able to raise the dead, and that 
according to his promise he certainly will do it ? 

Some one may indeed say, " There is no necessary 
" connection between what he has done and what 
" he is now able to do : his power may, for what we 
" know, be lessened, or wholly ceased." But unless 
it can in fact be proved to be so, the presumption is 
wholly on the other side, that his power continues 
the same it ever was. When he was here on earth 
did the people argue in this manner ? or was it na- 
tural they should ? " It is true, he cured many dis- 
" eased persons yesterday, and the day before ; but 
" there is no necessary connection between what he 
" has done and what he is now able to do : his 
" power may, for what we know, be much lessened, 
" or wholly ceased. To what purpose therefore 
" should we bring our sick friends to him to-day ?" 
Had the people reasoned in this manner, would 
there have been such crowds following him, bring- 
ing from all parts the lame and distempered to him? 
No, certainly. It is evident therefore they believed 
that what they had seen him do yesterday, he was 
able also to perform to-day ; and for this reason pre- 
sented to him the maimed and diseased, and had no 
apprehensions of a disappointment. 

There is not that man perhaps in the world, who 
from seeing the sun daily rise and set, has not con- 
cluded that it will continue so to do : or from hav- 
ing observed the several seasons of the year, does 
not expect each in its turn. It is most certain there 
is no necessary connection between these two things, 
that because the sun rose yesterday, and the day 
before, &c. it will rise to-morrow ; and that because 


we have had spring, summer, autumn, and winter 
the last and foregoing years, therefore we shall have 
them this and the following. Notwithstanding, is 
there that man upon earth that does not form the 
conclusion, and firmly believe it will be so? or is 
there any one that thinks it unjustifiable and blame- 
worthy so to do ? In like manner I am persuaded 
there is no one who really believes the facts related 
in the History of the Acts, but fully concludes that 
the same Jesus who raised the dead when here upon 
earth, who arose himself from the dead, and after 
his ascension empowered his disciples to raise the 
dead, will, according to his promise, at length raise 
all the dead, and render to them according to their 
deeds. He that amended human nature, and cured 
its defects; he that restored lost health, withered 
limbs, and decayed reason, has he not evidently the 
power of finishing our natures, and making us 
happy? Is it not also reasonable to conclude that 
he can as easily inflict pains, diseases, griefs, and 
whatever other evils he pleases ? Have we not then 
just reason to conclude that he will reward the 
righteous and punish the wicked as he has declared 
he will? He that was so punctual in the perform- 
ance of all his promises, why should we mistrust 
that he will not perform this ? H:e that so exactly 
foretold his disciples what would happen to them, 
and faithfully fulfilled his engagements to them in 
giving them such miraculous powers, and so un- 
daunted a resolution ° to bear witness to his resur- 
rection, and spread his doctrine through the world ? 
Is it not a reasonable presumption, that a person 

° Luke xxi. 15. Acts vi. 10. 
L 1 3 


who has been always faithful to his word will con- 
tinue to be so ? Is it not upon this foundation that 
commerce and business is carried on ? Is there any 
one scruples to trust a man who is well known to 
keep his word? and should this way of reasoning 
once fail, must there not be an entire and immediate 
stop put to trade? Persons may here also say, 
" There is no necessary connection between what a 
" man has done and what he will do : it is true, he 
" has always kept his word very punctually hitherto ; 
" but it does not thence necessarily follow that he 
" will do it for the future," What must be the con- 
sequence of such reasoning, but an entire diffidence 
in one another, and a total stop to all commerce ? 
If it be thought unreasonable to argue in this man- 
ner in the common affairs of life, and matters where- 
in our worldly interest is concerned, is it not equally 
or indeed more so with regard to the business of the 
other life, and our eternal interests ? Christ has al- 
ways hitherto faithfully performed every thing that 
he has promised. Is it not a most reasonable thing 
thence to conclude that he will continue so to do ? 
and particularly, that he will, according to his pro- 
mise, raise the dead, judge the world p, and render 
to all according to their behaviour and conduct 
here ? 

Should we proceed no further than this in our 
reasoning, this surely is enough to make us Chris- 
tians. This alone is sufficient to shew us that Christ 
is our Master, our Prince, and our Judge, and that 

P He gave sufficient proof of his qualification for this office by 
his knowledge of men's hearts when here on earth, and by com- 
municating this knowledge to his disciples when he ascended into 
heaven. John i. 47. ii. 24, 25. and vi, 64. Acts v. 4, &c. 


it is both our duty and interest to submit wholly to 
him, learning what he teaches, and obeying what he 
enjoins. But a very little reflection will carry us on 
to consider, that this eminent Person, who did such 
great things, must either himself be more than man, 
or must have been assisted by some one far superior 
to the human race. We are very sure that it is not 
in the power of man by a word's speaking to restore 
decayed limbs or lost reason, much less to raise the 
dead. How much less yet, to arise himself from the 
dead, and to grant this power of healing the dis- 
tempered, and raising the dead, to others, and to 
enable them to confer it still on others ! All these 
are so like the works of him that made us, that the 
most natural conclusion is, that the person who per- 
formed them was no other than our Creator, who 
appeared in human flesh under the name of Jesus. 
Is it easy to conceive that any other than he who 
first made us should be able to rectify the disorders 
of our nature by a word's speaking ? Who can renew 
the powers of reasoning and of self-motion, but he 
who first bestowed them ? Who can restore life, but 
he who gave it ? Who can order that the like won- 
derful effects should follow when others speak in his 
name, and that these, by laying on their hands, 
should convey the like miraculous power to others 
also, but he who has the disposal of all events ? As 
this is the most natural conclusion, so it well agrees 
with what is said of Christ by his disciples, that lie 
was in the heginning with God, and that he is God; 
that all things were made hy him, atid that without 
him was there not any thing made that was made^^. 

n John i. 3. Col. i. 16, 17. i Cor. viii. 6, 


But should wc admit that he effected these great 
and wonderful things by the direction and through 
the assistance of the almighty Creator and Governor 
of the universe, it is the very representation that he 
himself has given us : / came down from heaven, 
7iot to do mine own will, hut the will of him that 
sent me \ The works which the Father hath given 
me to finish, the same works that I do, hear witness 
of me, that the Father hath sent me^. And when 
he was about to cure the man who was blind from 
his birth, he says, / must work the ivorhs of him 
that sent me, while it is day^. Again he says, If 1 
do not the ivorhs of my Father, helieve me not ; 
hut if I do, though ye helieve not me, helieve the 
works: that ye may know, and helieve, that the 
Father is i?i me, and I in him ". 

I have chosen this way of reasoning, because it is 
free from all metaphysical subtlety, and open to the 
capacity of the meanest. It proceeds upon these 
two presumptions : that what Christ has done, he is 
still able to do ; and that forasmuch as he has al- 
ways hitherto been faithful to his word, he will con- 
tinue so to be. This is a way of reasoning allowed 
to be good in the affairs of life : and indeed, if per- 
sons were not governed in their belief by such rea- 
soning as this, the business of the world would be 
immediately at a stand. It is true, this way of rea- 
soning does not always prove infallible in matters 
merely human : a mere man may of a sudden be 
disabled from doing what he before did with the 
greatest facility ; or he may so change, as not to per- 

"^ John vi. 38. " John v. 36. Vid. cb. v. 17. 19, 20. 

' John ix, 4. ••' John x. 37, 38. 


form what he has promised, although never known 
to fail of his word before. However, these failures 
are not so frequent but the way of reasoning still 
justly prevails, and men are universally governed, 
both in their belief and practice, by it. Now if men 
believe and practise agreeably to this way of reason- 
ing in the business of life, wherein they know that 
it sometimes does fail them, how much more ought 
they to believe and practise agreeably to it in a case 
wherein they have not the least ground to suspect 
that it can or will deceive them ! Christ, whose 
ability and fidelity is in this case to be trusted, has 
given sufficient demonstration that he is more than 
man, and that he acted under the direction and in- 
fluence of the almighty Creator and Governor of the 
universe. Can the Almighty fail, and deceive us ? 
Most certainly there is a necessary connection be- 
tween his word and the fulfilment. Has he spoken, 
and shall it not be done ? 

The author of the last attempt against Christianity 
asserts, " that the power of working miracles has no 
" connection with the truth of the doctrines taught 
" by such miracle-workers : that false prophets, and 
" the most wicked seducers, might and did work 
" miracles, which they could not have done, had mi- 
" racles been any evidence or proof of truth and 
" sound doctrine : that whatever certainty God may 
" convey to a man's mind by inspiration, or imme- 
" diate revelation, the knowledge of any such truth 
" can go no further upon divine authority ''. He 
" could not convince any other man, not thus in- 
" spired, that he had any such revelation from God ; 

^ Moral Philosopher, p. 8i, 82. 


" but whosoever should receive it from him, must 
" take his own word for it, and depend properly 
" upon his authority, and not upon the authority of 
" God, unless he covild make it appear that he was 
" both infallible and impeccable in the case, and 
" that he could neither be deceived himself nor de- 
" ceive others ; and this is so much the prerogative 
" of God alone, that I doubt it will never be proved 
" of any other y. They who in the apostolical times 
" had these extraordinary gifts and powers, were 
" left at liberty to exercise them upon the common 
" principles of reason and human prudence ; and 
" from hence we find that some made a right use of 
" them for edification, while others employed them 
" only to serve the purposes of emulation and strife, 
" which introduced great confusions and disorders 
" among them. And this is an evident proof that 
" tlie persons invested with such extraordinary gifts 
" and powers were neither infallible nor impeccable, 
" i. e. they were not hereby made incapable either 
" of deceiving others or of being themselves de- 
" ceived ^" 

This, it must be owned, is a specious way of talk- 
ing, and is possibly as much as can be said on that 
side the question, but is far from coming up to the 
point, in opposing eitlier the revelation which God 
was pleased to make to his ancient people the Jews, 
or that which he has made to us by his son Jesus 
Christ. God was pleased to reveal the most material 
part of his will to the whole multitude of the Israel- 
ites immediately from Mount Sinai by an audible 
voice. And to make them the more attentive, it 

y Moral rhilosopher, p. 83. " Ibid. p. 81. 


was preceded with thunders and lightnings, and an 
earthquake. There was a cloud and thick darkness 
covered the mountain, and afterwards the appear- 
ance of fire and the sound of a trumpet. It was not 
possible that these things could be a deception. I be- 
lieve it will be readily granted, that it was not in 
the power of any man to cover the face of the hea- 
vens with clouds and darkness, and speak to more 
than three millions of people at once with an audible 
voice, so that each one should distinctly hear what 
was said. And should we suppose that any being 
inferior to the almighty Creator and Governor of the 
universe had it in his power to have exhibited such 
an appearance as this, we are sure that he could not 
do it without the divine permission. But is it con- 
sistent with the wisdom and goodness of the great 
Governor of the world to permit a people to be thus 
inevitably deceived and imposed upon ? To this in- 
deed it may be replied, " Has he not suffered many 
" great and large nations to be deceived by Ma- 
" hometan delusion ? and have not great numbers 
" been misled by pretended miracles in popish coun- 
" tries ?" But these cases are by no means parallel. 
Mahomet wrought no miracles : his disciples be- 
came such through fear. It was merely the want of 
courage made so great a part of the world submit to 
his doctrine, for it was propagated wholly by war 
and conquest. And as to the pretended miracles 
among the papists, they are impositions which might 
easily be discovered by men's own natural faculties : 
and it is entirely owing to their own sloth, careless- 
ness, and negligence, that they suffer themselves to 
be so egregiously deceived. But in the case before 
us, it was not in the power of man to discover the 


imposition. There were clouds and darkness, thun- 
ders and lightnings, and a voice personating the 
great Ci'eator of all things, and giving forth the 
most just and reasonable laws, and this in the open 
air in the daytime, to upwards of three millions of 
people. How was it possible that any man should 
suspect a fraud, or entertain a thought that God 
would permit an inferior invisible power to act thus 
without an express order and commission from him- 
self ? The Israelites were so terrified by this appear- 
ance, that they desired for the future that God would 
speak to them by Moses, and not any more imme- 
diately to themselves. The rest of their laws there- 
fore were at their own request delivered to them 
from God by Moses. 

And that God himself was the conductor of this 
people from the time of their leaving Egypt to their 
settlement in the Holy Land, is as plain as history 
and words can make it. And it is as evident from 
the same history, that if Moses was not directed by 
God in his marches from Egypt, and through the 
wilderness, and had not an entire dependance on his 
immediate interposition to assist and provide for 
them, he was the weakest man that ever undertook 
the command of a people, and must certainly have 
failed of his end. He and all tlie people with him 
must have perished, either at the Red sea or in the 
wilderness. And is not every Jew we meet with in 
our streets an evidence of the truth of the Mosaic 
revelation ? Is it not expressly foretold by Moses, 
And the Lord s/tall .scatter thee among all jyeople, 
from the one end of the earth even unto the other ; 
and there thou ahaJt .serve other gods, ivhich nei- 
ther thou nor thi/ fathers have known, even ivood 


and stone ^. How comes it to pass that there are 
any left who profess themselves Jews ? Is it not 
a most astonishing tiling, that, after so many dread- 
ful slaughters that have been made of that people, 
after so many severe persecutions which they have 
undergone, and the contempt that is thrown upon 
them in all nations, there should yet remain any 
who call themselves by that name ? Is it owing 
to their great and singular virtue ? Are they not as 
vicious, at least, as any other people ? And in Spain 
and Portugal do they not at this day comply with 
all the rites and ceremonies of the Popish religion, 
and bow down before images of wood and stone? Is 
it any thing less than a miracle of Providence that 
can preserve such a people distinct from the rest of 
the world ? There seem to be prophecies both in the 
Old and New Testament relating to this people yet 
unfulfilled ; and it is very probable that they are 
thus miraculously kept a distinct people for their 

The coming of Christ into the world was foretold 
by Moses and the succeeding prophets. He is de- 
scribed by them as one that should be more than 
human ; that he should be born of a virgin ^ ; that he 
should be without sin *^ ; that he should be Immanuel, 
or God with us '^ ; that he should be called the Mighty 
God*^; that one should go before him in the spirit 
and power of Elias ^, who should cry in the wilder- 
ness. Prepare ye the ivay of the Lord, make his 
paths straight s. The conception of John the Bap- 
tist, and that of Christ, were foretold by an angel •'. 

=" Deut. xxviii.64. Vid. et 37, ^' Isaiah vii. 14. 

<^ Is. liii. 9. I Pet. ii, 22. '' Is. vii. 14. ^ Is. ix. 6. 

f Mai. iv. 6. Luke i. 17. " Is. xl. 3, 4. '' Luke i. 19. 26. 


By a vision of angels was the birth of Jesus made 
known to certain shepherds, who immediately vi- 
sited the new born Son of God ^ Wise men, con- 
ducted from the east by a miraculous appearance in 
the heavens, came and made their offerings to him''. 
Simeon and Anna, by a prophetic spirit, received 
and owned him as the Messiah, when brought an 
infant to the temple to be presented to the Lord^ 
and spake of him to all them who looked for re- 
demption in Israel '". John the Baptist, prophesied 
of as his forerunner, pointed him out to the jjeople 
as one far greater and more worthy than himself, 
who should baptize them with the Holy Ghost ", as 
the Lamb of God, whicli taketh away the sin of the 
world °, as the Son of GodP, and Judge of the 
worlds. Twice was it said of him by a voice from 
heaven, This is my beloved Son, in ivJiom I am 
well pleased"^ . And he was demonstrated to be the 
Son of God with power by his resurrection from the 
dead ^ In his discourses to the Jews, he more than 
once appeals to the great and mighty works wrought 
by him, as a clear proof that the Father had sent 
him^ And it is most certain that these things 
could not have been performed without the permis- 
sion and consent of the great Author and Governor 
of all things. But is it to be conceived, that an all- 
wise and gracious Being would give his consent 

' Luke ii. 8, &c. 17. And they made known abroad the saying 
which was told them concerning this child. 

'''Matt. ii. I — II. ' Luke ii. 22. 25. 26, &c. 36, &c. 

'" Ver. 38. " Matt. iii. 12. John i. 15. 27. " John i. 29. 
»' John i. 18. 24. 'I Matt. iii. 13. 

^ Matt. iii. 17. and xvii. 5. ^ Rom. i. 4. 

t John V. 36. and .x. 25. 37. 38. 


that mankind should be thus unavoidably deceived ? 
Would he suffer a person to do such works in his 
name, and as by his authority, in express proof of 
his coming from him, of being his Son, and bring- 
ing his message, if he were not truly the person he 
represented himself to be. When the Jews sought 
a sign of him, he often referred them to his resur- 
rection. He said. Destroy this temple, and in three 
days I ivill build it up again ". And at another 
time, An evil a7id adulterous generation seeheth 
after a sigfi ; and there shall no sign he given to 
it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas : for as Jonas 
was three days and three nights in the whale's 
belly ; so shall the Son of man be three days and 
three nights in the heart of the earth ^. When he 
had thus rested the whole proof of his divine mis- 
sion on his rising from the dead the third day, is it 
to be thought that the great Governor of the world 
would have allowed him to rise on that day, unless 
he had indeed sent him ? Would he also have taken 
him up into heaven in the sight of all his disciples ? 
Would he have permitted him to have fulfilled his 
promise in pouring forth the Holy Ghost on the day 
of Pentecost ? Would he have suffered him to en- 
due his apostles and followers with such wonderful 
powers, and enable them to do such astonishing 
works, and thereby spread his gospel in so short a 
time through the then known world, according to 
his prediction and promise ? I say, would the Fa- 
ther and Maker of all things have allowed this, had 
not Jesus been what he declared himself to be, the 
Son of God, and Saviour of the world ? Most cer- 

" John. ii. 19. 

^ Matt. xii. 39, 40. Vid. Matt. xvi. 4. Luke xi. 29. 


tainly he would not. It is utterly irreconcileahle 
with the divine attributes. 

In the Christian revelation therefore, it is no other 
than the Son of God himself, he who is both God 
and man, that has made known the mind of God to 
us. He is both infalHble and impeccable >'. He 
neither can be deceived himself, nor deceive any 
one. He taught his disciples the will of his Father 
in the most familiar manner for the three years that 
he lived with them : and after his resurrection was 
often with them, and instructed them in the pro- 
phecies of the Old Testament concerning himself^. 
And for the security of those who should come after, 
he assured them that the Holy Spirit, which he 
would give them, should lead them into all truth, 
and bring all things to their remembrance, whatso- 
ever he had said unto them '\ So that we have a 
clear and full promise, that in their representing his 
doctrine to us they should not deceive us. And 
these very disciples, to whom he fulfilled this pro- 
mise, and gave his Holy Spirit, not only taught his 
sayings by their preaching, but have also left them 
us in writing. The apostle Paul indeed was not a 
disciple while Jesus was conversant here on earth, 
and was a most bitter persecutor of all his followers 
for some time after his ascension into heaven. His 
miraculous conversion, and bold appearing for the 
cause of Christ in the synagogues of the Jews, where 
he had apprehended and scourged the Christians, was 
an additional proof of the truth of Christ's mission. 
And although it is true, that he received his know- 

> Is. liii. 9. 2 Cor. v. 21. Fleb. vii. 26. i Pet. ii. 22. 1 .lolin 
iii. 5. 1 Pet. i. 19. ' Luke xxiv. 27. 44. 45, &c. 

*' John xvi. 13. and xiv. 26. 


ledge of the Christian doctrine by inspiration, or im- 
mediate revelation, yet the exact agreement there is 
between his writings and those of the other apostles 
is a confirmation of the truth of Christianity. 

You may now plainly see, that the arguments of 
the author I have cited come not up to the point in 
opposing either of the revelations which we are con- 
cerned with. The most material part of the revealed 
truths 4n the first were taught the people immedi- 
ately by God himself from mount Sinai, and the rest 
at their own desire by the mediation of Moses. All 
the truths of the gospel were taught by Jesus, who 
is both God and man : and both revelations were 
committed to writing, the former immediately from 
the mouth of God, the latter by persons who were 
eye and ear witnesses of what they wrote, and were 
under the direction of that Spirit who was to guide 
them into all truth, and bring all things to their re- 
membrance, whatsoever Christ had said unto them. 
Had all the disciples who have communicated to us 
the doctrine of Christ received it by inspiration 
alone, as did St. Paul, there would have been more 
appearance of weight in the words I have cited from 
this author ; but forasmuch as they received it from 
Christ's own mouth when here on earth, or by im- 
mediate tradition from those that heard him, the ar- 
guments he has brought are quite wide from the 
purpose. And since the doctrine left us by St. Paul, 
who received it by immediate revelation or inspira- 
tion, is so exactly consonant with that which comes 
to us from the other disciples, it is a great confirma- 
tion that we are not imposed upon and deceived. 

When the author I have cited says, " that they 
" who in the apostolic times had these extraordi- 
M m 


" naiy gifts and powers were left at liberty to exer- 
" cise them upon tlie common principles of reason 
" and human prudence, and from hence we find, 
" that some made a right use of them to edification, 
" while others employed them only to serve the pur- 
" poses of emulation and strife, which introduced 
" great confusions and disorders among them ;" we 
readily allow the truth of all this. And it is nothing 
more than what our Lord himself foretold : JMany 
will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we 
not prophesied in thy name f and in thy name have 
cast out devils f and in thy name done many won- 
derful worhs ? And then will I profess unto them, 
I never hneiv you : depart from me, ye that work 
iniquity^. This is so far from being an objection 
to the truth of the Christian religion, that it con- 
firms it, plainly demonstrating, that our Lord had 
the knowledge of things future. But if the author 
means to insinuate that our faith depends on such 
men as these, who abused the extraordinary gifts 
communicated to them, his insinuation is utterly 
false and groundless. 

Our faith depends on Christ alone, who is both 
God and man. He taught his doctrine to his fol- 
lowers : and they, to whom he promised to lead 
them into all truth, and to bring to their remem- 
brance all things whatsoever he had said unto them, 
first preached it to the world, and then committed 
it to writing. And if we believe that he rose from 
the dead, ascended into heaven, and thence gave 
forth miraculous powers to his disciples, can we ad- 
mit the least douljt whether he fulfilled this pro- 

'' Matt, vii, 22, 23. 


mise ? Should we admit that this promise was con- 
fined to his immediate disciples, such only as were 
conversant with him here on earth ; and should we 
suppose that both Mark and Luke were not of that 
number ; (though the contrary be asserted by some 
of the ^ ancients ;) yet, since they wrote their Gospels 
from the preachings of the apostles Peter and Paul, 
and both were approved by tlie apostle John, we are 
very secure they contain nothing but what is true. 

The author indeed in some parts of his work 
boldly asserts, that there was a wide difference be- 
tween the doctrine taught by St. Paul and that 
taught by the other apostles '^ ; but the difference 
assigned by him is entirely the fiction of his own 
fruitful brain, without any the least foundation either 
in scripture or history. He acknowledges that when 
St. Paul went up to Jerusalem by revelation, and 
communicated to the apostles there the gospel he had 
preached to the Gentiles, they approved it, and gave 
him the right hand of fellowship ^ ; yet affirms, in 
express contradiction to history ^ and this apostle's 
own writings 8, that afterwards he preached against 
the decree of the council at Jerusalem, and would 
not have the Gentile converts to comply with it '\ 
That the apostle Peter approved the doctrine taught 
by St. Paul, is sufficiently evident from tlie commen- 
dation he gives of his Epistles, as you may see, 
2 Pet. iii. 15, 16. Even as our heloved brother Paul 
also according to the wisdom given unto him hath 
written unto you ; as also in all his epistles, speak- 

'^ Epiphan, et Dial, contra Marcion. quoted in Basnage, Annal. 
Vid. Marc, et Luc. in Ind. 

^ Moral PhiK p. 74 — 80. 363. 364. ^ Ibid. p. 362. 

f Acts xvi. 4. "^ I Cor. x. 21. '' Mor. Phil. p. 79. 363. 

Ji m 2 


ing in them of' these thifigs ; in which are some 
things hard to he understood, ivhich they that are 
unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the 
other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Al- 
though the apostle Peter was guilty of dissimulation 
at Antioch^ through fear of the Jews which came 
down from Jerusalem, this is no evidence that he 
did not approve of the apostle Paul's doctrine ; on 
the contrary, his former practice sufficiently demon- 
strates that he did approve it ; and indeed it was no 
other than what himself had publicly defended be- 
fore the Christians at Jerusalem, when he was ac- 
cused by them of going in to men uncircumcised, 
and eating with them ^. This indeed fully proves 
that the apostles were not impeccable ; nor did our 
Saviour promise that they should be. The servants 
of God have sometimes failed even in those graces 
for the exercise of which they have been most emi- 
nent. Job betrayed impatience : and Peter, not- 
withstanding his natural courage and undaunted 
spirit, and his great zeal, boldness, and forwardness 
to profess Christ, twice fell through mere cowardice : 
he denied his Master, and dissembled with the Jew- 
ish Christians at Antioch. Our Saviour did not pro- 
mise that his disciples should not fall into sin, but 
that in teaching his doctrine he would lead them 
into all truth. And accordingly in this very point 
Peter boldly maintained and defended the truth 
against the Jerusalem Christians, who accused him 
for what he had done at Ca^sarea '. 

I shall add a brief and plain answer to each of 
the assertions I have quoted from this author, and 

' Gal. ii. ii,&c. '^Actsxi.31. 'Ver. 17. 


conclude this discourse. He says, " that false pro- 
" phets, and the most wicked seducers, might and 
" did work miracles, which they could not have 
" done, had miracles been an evidence or proof of 
" truth and sound doctrine." In answer to this, I 
would ask, of what sort were the miracles wrought 
by false prophets and seducers ? Were they for the 
manifest benefit of mankind, or were they preju- 
dicial? Were they not always to be distinguished 
from those wrought by true prophets ? It is certain 
there is come down to us but a very slender account 
of any particular miracles wrought by false prophets 
and seducers. If the Egyptian magicians be reckon- 
ed of that number, how few things were they able 
to perform ! and those rather noxious than of any 
advantage. They turned rods into serpents, water 
into blood, and produced frogs, but could proceed 
no further. When the dust of the land became lice, 
they acknowledged this was the finger of God. And 
when the ashes of the furnace were sprinkled up 
towards heaven, and became a boil, breaking forth 
with blains, the magicians were no longer able to 
stand before Moses, because the boil was upon them 
as well as the other Egyptians. And althougli they 
produced frogs, we find not that they could remove 
them, any more than any other of the plagues in- 
flicted by Moses ™. We read that Simon Magus had 
of a long time bewitched the Samaritans with his 
sorceries. There is no account of any particular 
wonder wrought by him ; but, in the general, that 
he had by his practices so worked himself into the 
esteem of the people, that they looked upon him as 

"^ Exod. viii. 8. 

M m 3 


the great power of God. Nevertheless, no sooner 
did Philip the deacon appear in Samaria, and per- 
form miracles of real and acknowledged benefit to 
mankind, than Simon is forsaken, is equally asto- 
nished with the rest of the people, and professes 
himself a convert. Now whatever were the signs 
and miracles wrought by false prophets and se- 
ducers, if they were clearly distinguishable from 
those performed by true prophets, the latter might 
be a proof of the truth of doctrines taught, when 
the former were not. 

But, says the same author, " the power of work- 
" ing miracles has no connection with the truth of 
" doctrines taught by such miracle- workers." That 
it has no physical connection is readily granted ; 
but that it may have a moral one is without diffi- 
culty proved, so that a Providence be allowed. Mo- 
ses went to the Israelites, and told them, that the 
God of their fathers had appeared to him, and would 
dehver them from that heavy bondage they groaned 
under. And although at first he shewed few other 
signs than what Pharaoh's magicians also performed, 
yet afterwards he inflicted a great variety of plagues 
on the Egyptians, of which the Israelites, who dwelt 
among them, felt nothing. Now when they saw 
their enemies thus annoyed, while at the same time 
themselves were free, was not this sufficient to con- 
vince them that God had really appeared to him, 
and sent him to be their deliverer, and that it was 
the will of God they should put themselves under 
his conduct ? And were they not abundantly justi- 
fied herein, when by killing the passover, according 
to his direction, their firstborn were saved alive, 
though all the firstborn of the Egyptians were slain ? 


Could any reasonable man think that God would 
bring these plagues upon the Egyptians at the word 
of Moses, and at the same time secure the Israelites 
from them, unless he designed their deliverance, and 
employed Moses to that end? When Korah, Da- 
than, and Abiram rebelled against Moses in the wil- 
derness, was not the immediate miraculous punish- 
ment of these men, together with all who adhered 
to them, a sufficient indication of the mind of God ? 
Would he have caused the earth to open her mouth 
and swallow them alive, would he have sent forth 
fire from his presence, and have consumed them, had 
they not knowingly and wilfully transgressed his 

He further says, " Whatever certainty God may 
" convey to a man's mind by inspiration, or imme- 
" diate revelation, the knowledge of any such truth 
" can go no further upon divine authority. He 
" could not convince any other man not thus in- 
" spired that he had any such revelation from God. 
" But whoever should receive it from him must 
" take his own word for it, and depend properly 
" upon his authority, and not upon the authority of 
" God ; unless he could make it appear that he was 
" both infallible and impeccable in the case, and that 
" he could neither be deceived himself nor deceive 
" others ; and this is so much the prerogative of 
" God alone, that I doubt it will never be proved 
" of any other." Moses comes to the Israelites, and 
tells them God had appeared to him, and would de- 
liver them. If they believed him upon his bare as- 
serting this, it is very certain they depended on his 
authority, and so far it was a human faith only. 
But when it pleased God afterwards to afflict the 
M m 4 


Egyptians at the word of Moses with plague after 
plague, while at the same time the Israelites were 
exempted ; if they believed what Moses said upon 
conviction from so extraordinary and miraculous a 
providence, it was a divine faith. They well knew 
that Moses by his own power could not produce 
such plagues, nor exempt the Israelites from them. 
They were fully assured that these things could not 
be accomplished but by the power or permission of 
the great Creator of the universe ; that herein there- 
fore God himself spake to them, and that as clearly 
as he did to Moses from the burning bush. There 
was no manner of necessity for Moses to prove that 
he was either infallible or impeccable ; for God him- 
self, by the miracles wrought at the word of Moses, 
gave the Israelites most convincing proof that he 
designed him to be their deliverer. 

Did not God speak loudly and clearly by the pu- 
nishment of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram ? Was not 
the doctrine taught by Moses with regard to the 
family and function of the priests hereby fully con- 
firmed? and all usurpation of the priesthood con- 
demned ? and was not the Israelites' belief of this 
a divine faith ? a faith in God, speaking clearly to 
them in his providence ? We have this author's ac- 
knowledgment however, that when the person to 
whom the revelation is made is infallible and impec- 
cable, he may communicate it to others, and it still 
continues a divine faith. Is not this evidently tlie 
case of all those who receive their faith from Christ ? 

He also says, " They who in the apostolic times 
" had these extraordinary gifts and powers, were 
" left at liberty to exercise them upon the common 
" principles of reason and human prudence ; and 


" from hence we find that some made a right use 
" of them for edification, wliile others employed 
" them only to serve the purposes of emulation and 
" strife, which introduced great confusions and dis- 
" orders among them. And this is an evident proof 
" that the persons invested with such extraordinary 
" gifts and powers were neither infallible nor impec- 
" cable, i. e. they were not hereby made incapable 
" either of deceiving others or being deceived them- 
" selves." Our Saviour, who taught the Christian 
revelation, was both God and man, infallible and 
impeccable, incapable of deceiving others or being 
deceived himself. And his immediate disciples, 
though not in all things infallible and impeccable, 
yet had this promise made to them by him, that the 
Holy Spirit should bring all things to their remem- 
brance whatsoever he had said unto them, and 
should lead them into all truth. This is our secu- 
rity, that in all things which they taught or wrote 
as the doctrine of Christ, they were infallibly di- 
rected, and neither could be deceived or deceive. 
And if we proceed further, to those who were con- 
verted by them, and on whom they conferred the 
gifts of the Spirit by laying on their hands, there is 
no doubt but whatever revelations were made to 
them were of great use and service at that time in 
the church, and carried with them sufficient convic- 
tion of their truth ; but, as they are not come down 
to us, they noways concern us, nor can be the sub- 
jects of our faith. The imprudences and irregulari- 
ties for which some of these persons in the church 
of Corinth were reproved by St. Paul cannot in the 
least affect or hurt us. Does our faith depend upon 
any revelation made to them ? or do we receive any 


doctrine because delivered by them ? To what pur- 
pose therefore this is added, unless to confound and 
mislead the reader, I know not. The extraordinary 
and miraculous gifts, while the exercise of them con- 
tinued in this church of Corinth, and other churches, 
were a standing proof of the power of Christ, and a 
great confirmation to the faith of all who received 
him as their Prince and Judge. But as to the par- 
ticular ends for which revelations were made to any 
in this church, (for doubtless they had plain, obvious, 
and useful ends at the time when made,) history 
does not inform us. 



The ohjections raised hy Rahhi Isaac hen Abra- 
ham answered. 

I PROCEED now to the last thing proposed, 
which is, to answer all the objections that I can find 
have been at any time started, either with regard to 
the authority of this book, or the truth of any of the 
facts related in it. And herein I have in some mea- 
sure prevented myself, by having obviated various 
objections, as they came in my way, in the preced- 
ing chapters. I shall begin with those raised by 
Rabbi Isaac the Jew, in his Chhzouk Emoimah, or 
Munimen Fidei, published and translated by the 
learned Wagenseil, and at large confuted by Gusse- 
tius, who was professor of philosophy in the univer- 
sity of Groningen. 

The first objection is taken from Acts i. 6, 7. 
Whe7i they therefore were come together, they 
ashed qfhirn, saying. Lord, wilt thou at this time 
restore again the kingdom to Israel f And he said 
unto them, It is not for you to know the times or 
the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own 
power. " The persons who ask, you see, do by this 
" their question acknowledge that the kingdom of 
" Israel was some time hereafter to be restored, con- 
" trary to the opinion of Christians : but he that 
" answers, does by his answer declare that he is not 
" the expected Messiah which his followers take 
" him for, since he does not say that he is the re- 
" storer of the kingdom. He at the same time de- 
" clares, that it cannot be that any man should 


" know when this captivity will have an end, be- 
" fore the time of the end itself comes ; and that 
" God alone, of whose understanding there is no 
" searching, knows it V This objection arises in 
part from the mistaken apprehensions of the apo- 
stles, in part from a wrong interpretation of our 
Saviour's answer, as also from the false idea which 
the Rabbi entertained of the Messiah's kingdom. 
We readily acknowledge that the disciples at that 
time expected a temporal kingdom to be erected. 
For which reason our Lord in his answer adds, But 
ye shall receii^e 2^oiver, after that the Holy Ghost 
is come upon you, and ye shall he witnesses unto 
me both in Jerusalem^ and in all JudcEU, and in 
Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth ; 
intimating, that in a short time they should be fully 
instructed in the nature of his kingdom, and the 
powers they were to exercise. In the words quoted 
by the Rabbi he plainly reproves their curiosity, as 
having other business before them than that of a 
temporal kingdom, or the time of erecting it. It is 
7iotfor you to know the times or the seasons ; there 
is business of another kind and nature lies before 
you. At the same time our Lord does not say that 
God had reserved the knowledge of the times and 
seasons to himself; for he had in some measure re- 
vealed these by the prophets ; but what he says is, 
that he had put them in his own power, that they 
were in truth under his direction ; and was as much 
as to say, that the disciples were to perform their 
duty, and leave all events entirely to God, because 
he alone had the power of disposing them. 

•' Chiz/ouk Emounali, par. 2. cap. 59. 


It is plain that Rabbi Isaac entertained the same 
mistaken notion of the Messiah and his kingdom, as 
did the disciples before they were enlightened by 
the descent of the Holy Ghost. They thought, that 
when the Messiah came he was to put an end to 
the subjection of the Israelites, and grant them a 
glorious monarchy over the heathen nations. The 
answer of Jesus, says he, implies in it, that the time 
was not yet come that the subjection or captivity of 
Israel should have an end, that this time was known 
only to God, consequently that he was not the Mes- 
siah ; for whenever the Messiah comes, the captivity 
is to have an end, and the kingdom to be restored. 
But tlie Jew ought to have remembered, that our 
Saviour himself declared before Pilate, that his king- 
dom was not of this worlds and that the prophecies 
concerning the Messiah's kingdom are understood 
by Christians in a spiritual sense. 

The observation made by the Rabbi in the next 
chapter contains no objection to the Acts of the 
Apostles, but his answer to an argument for the 
truth of the Christian religion taken from the words 
of Gamaliel ^, which was urged upon him by some 
Lutheran of high rank ^. This argument is however 
set in a clear light, and well defended, by Gusse- 
tius ^. 

There follow several objections taken from the 
speech of the protomartyr Stephen, Acts vii. The 
first is taken from the words in the fourth verse. 
But that the matter may appear in the clearest 
light, I shall repeat his words from the beginning : 

'' Acts V. 34, &c. '- Chiz. Em. p. 2. c. 60, et p. 1, c. 4. 

'' Veritas salutifera, p. 15- 


The God of glory (qypeared unto onr father Abra- 
ham, when he wan in Mesoiiotamia, before he dwelt 
in Charran, and said unto him, Get thee out of thy 
country, and from thy kindred, and come into the 
land ivhich I shall shew thee. Theti came he out 
of the land of the Chaldceans, and dwelt in Char- 
ran ; and from thence, when his father was dead, 
he removed him tojhis land, wherein ye now dwell. 
This is represented as a flat contradiction to the 
history of Moses in the eleventh and twelfth chap- 
ter of Genesis, where it is said, that Terah lived 
seventy years, and begat Abraham, Nahor, and Ha- 
ran ^. And the days of Terah were two hundred 
and five years : and Terah died in Haran ^. And 
Abraham was seventy and five years old ivhen he 
departed out of Haran. Hence, says the Rabbi, it 
is evident that Terah lived, after Abraham ^ left 
Haran, sixty years. Terah was Ijut seventy years 
old when Abraham was born, and Abraham but 
seventy-five when he departed from Haran. These 
together make no more than one hundred and forty- 
five, whereas Terah lived to be two hundred and 
five, that is, he lived sixty years after Abraham 
went from Haran. But St. Stephen affirms, that 
Abraham went not from Haran till after his father 
Terah's death '\ This is the objection. 

To me, I must own, the more fully I consider 
this matter, the more clearly it appears that St. Ste- 
phen's words are so far from being contradictory to 
those of Moses, that they give us the true explica- 
tion of them, and a more distinct account of this 

*• Gen. xi. 26. ^ Gen. xi. 32. ^ Gen. xii. 4. 

'' Clii/. Em, p. 2. c. 61. 


part of history than we should otherways have been 
masters of. It is observable, first of all, that St. 
Stephen informs us, that God spake to Abraham 
while he was yet at Ur of the Chaldees, calling him 
to leave his country. Of this Moses takes no no- 
tice, and the words differ from those recorded by 
Moses which were spoken to Abraham at Haran. 
In the former he is commanded to leave his country 
and kindred ; in the latter, also his father's house. 
He left not his father's house when he went from 
Ur to Haran, because his father and all his house- 
hold went with him. And that there was such a 
double call, is acknowledged by the Jews them- 
selves '. 2dly, It is also observable, that in the book 
of Genesis the account of the death of Terah pre- 
cedes the history of Abraham's second call, and his 
departure out of Haran. It is said, And the clays 
of Terah were two hundred aiid five years : and 
Terah died in Hara7i. Then immediately follows 
the account of Abraham's call and departure. Why 
was the death of Terah inserted in this place, if it 
were not designed to let us know that he died be- 
fore Abraham left Haran ? It is remarkable, that 
Moses has said nothing of the deaths of the fore- 
going patriarchs from Shem to Terah : why should 
he insert this here, unless for the reason assigned ? 
What Moses has thus more obscurely intimated St. 
Stephen clearly expresses : And from thence, when 
hisfiither was dead, he removed him into this land, 
wherein ye now dwell. The Rabbi, aware of this, 
says, " It is usual for the scripture to finish one bu- 
" siness before it proceeds to another. Thus it men- 

' Aben Ezra on Gen. xii. i. quoted by Lightt'oot, vol. i. p. 780. 


" tions the death of Abraham before the birth of 
" Jacob and Esau, although they had completed 
*' their fifteenth year before Abraham died. And 
" thus it mentions the death of Isaac before the sell- 
" ing of Joseph, though Isaac was then living." I 
may, I think, safely leave it to any one's considera- 
tion to determine whether these cases are parallel. 

But it will be here asked, How is St. Stephen's 
account reconcileable with what Moses has laid down 
concerning the ages of Terah and Abraham ? I an- 
swer. Very easily ; if we will but allow ourselves to 
consider, and rightly interpret his words. He says, 
Terah lived seventy years, and hegat Abraham^ 
Nahor, and Haran. There is no one, I suppose, 
understands it that these three were born to him in 
the same year. It is most reasonable to conclude 
that two of them were born either before he was 
seventy, or after it. The matter in debate is, which : 
if the meaning be, that Terah lived seventy years 
before he begat the eldest of his three sons, and 
afterwards begat the other two, there remains no 
difficulty; nor is there any the least shadow of a 
reason to be alleged against this interpretation. Te- 
rah was seventy years of age before he had any son ; 
after that, were born unto him Abraham, Nahor, 
and Haran '\ And that this is the true construction, 
is fully evident from the use of the same phrase in 
Gen. vi. where it is said. And Noah ivasfive hun- 
dred years old, and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and 
Japhet. It is certain this must be understood, that 
Noah then begat the eldest of the three : for it is 
expressly said of Shem, that he ivas one hundred 

^ Vid. Synop. Crit. et Pair, ii) Gen. v. 32. et xi. 26. 


years old, and hegat ArpJiaxad two years after 
thejlood^. Noah was six hundred years complete 
before the flood went off "\ Hence it appears that 
Shem was not born till Noah was five hundred and 
two years old. 

The next thing to be considered is, which was the 
eldest of Terah's sons. Abraham, it is true, is named 
first ; but it by no means thence follows that he was 
the eldest. It is no uncommon thing with the sacred 
writers, to name first, not the eldest but the most 
worthy ". Thus is it in naming the sons of Noah, 
Shem, Flam, and Japhet ; Shem was the more wor- 
thy, but Japhet was the elder <^. And it is indeed 
acknowledged by several of the Jews themselves, 
that Abraham was the youngest son of Terah i'. If 
Sarah, Abraham's wife, was the daughter of Haran, 
as is generally believed both by Jews and Christians, 
and is expressly related by the historian Josephus 'J, 
it is demonstrable that Abraham must have been 
many years younger than his brother Haran. For 
Abraham was but ten years old when Sarah was 
born '■j and Milcah the wife of Nahor, it is probable, 
was elder than Sarah ^ : so that Haran was a father 
before Abraham was nine years of age. Now it is 
but supposing that Haran begat his daughters about 
the same time of life that his father Terah begat 
him, that is, when he was sixty-nine and seventy 

' Gen. xi. lo. "^ Gen. vii, ii. and viii. 13. 

" Vid. Gen. xxv. 9. et xlviii. 20. Exod. vi. 27. et vii. 6, 7, 10. 
Josh. xxiv. 4. T Chron. i. 28. et ii. 2. ° Gen. x. 21. 

P Sanhed. fol. 69. 2. qiioted by Lightf. vol. 2. p. 666. et Men. 
ben Israel in Gen. by Kidder, Dem. vol. 2. p. 225. 

^ Antiq. 1. i. c. 6. §. 5. p. 21. 1.6. et c. 7. §. i. pr. 

f Gen. xvii. 17. '^ Vid. Gen. xi. 28, 29. et Jos. ubi supra. 

N n 


years of age, and the whole history is plain, and ex- 
actly consistent both with itself and the speech of 
St. Stephen. For then it appears that Abraham was 
sixty years younger than his brother Haran, was 
born when his father was one hundred and thirty, 
and departed not from Haran till after his father's 
death. This I take to be the matter of fact, and we 
are indebted to St. Stephen for the clearing it up 
to us. 

There are, I confess, learned men who understand 
by these words, Terah lived seventy years, and he- 
gat Abraham, Nahor, and Haran, that the young- 
est of his three sons was born to him by that time 
he was seventy years of age *. But forasmuch as 
they produce no example of this construction, I 
think it ought to be rejected. Some of them have 
attempted to remove the difficulty which lies upon 
them from their thus interpreting the words, by the 
signification of the word ^fxcoV/o-ev. They readily 
acknowledge that Terah was not dead till Abraham 
had left Haran sixty years ; nor, say they, does St. 
Stephen assert that he was. But what he affirms is, 
that God did not [xeToiKi^eiv, did not grant him a set- 
tled habitation in this land, w/ierein ye now dwell, 
that is, in the land of Judaea, strictly so called, till 
after his father's death. And according to their 
computation, it was about sixty years after his de- 
parture from Haran that he led an unsettled life, 
sometimes in Egypt, sometimes among the Philis- 
tines, sometimes in Judaea, before he was fixed at 
Hebron ". 

In the next chapter, rabbi Isaac asserts in the 

* Vid. Wolfiii Cur. in loc. " Vid. Gussetii Ver. Sal. p. 333. 


general, that " the apostles of Jesus, and authors of 
" the Gospels, were unskilful in the Law and the 
** Prophets :" and brings for instance the words cited 
by St. Stephen, Acts vii. 7. And the nation to whom 
they shall he in hondage, will I judge, saith God ; 
and after that shall they come forth, and serve me 
in this 'place. " These words," says he, " are not 
" found in the Law. For in Gen. xv. it is written 
" only. And the nation to ivhom they shall be in 
" bondage ivill I judge, and afterwards shall they 
" come otit with great substance. But this writer, 
" through want of skill, hath confounded half of this 
" saying with half of another saying, adding, And 
*' after that, shall they come forth, and serve me in 
*' this place, which is taken from the words of Moses 
"in Exod. iii. When thou hast brought forth the 
" people out of Egijpt, ye shall serve God upon 
" this mountain ; as is plain to all who will look 
** into those places ''." 

Had the learned Jew shewn, either that God did 
not speak the words, or the sense of the words here 
cited, or that they were not spoken of the Israelites, 
it might have carried the face of an objection. But 
since, in both the places of the Law referred to, it 
is both God that speaks, and the Israelites that are 
spoken of, what unskilfulness does there appear in 
joining these two places together ? Are no two pas- 
sages of the Law or of the Prophets to be joined to- 
gether in quoting scripture, although they never so 
emphatically express or illustrate what they are 
brought for ? If the Jew asserts this, he herein con- 
demns Moses himself, and the most eminent writers 
of his own nation. Moses, in repeating the laws he 
=< Chiz. Em. p. 2. c. 62. 
N n 2 


had delivered to the Israelites in the book of Deut- 
eronomy, frequently joins together things which, ac- 
cording to his own account, were spoken to him at 
different times y. And the learned Surenhusius has 
laid together a great number of quotations from the 
Talmudic, and other noted Jewish writers, proving 
that they do the same \ It is doubted by some ^ 
whether St. Stephen took the last part of the words 
from Exod. iii. and it is very evident that the sense 
of what is there said is abundantly expressed by God 
himself in many parts of the Law ''. 

The rabbi raises another objection from the four- 
teenth verse : Thoi sent Joseph^ and called his 
father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, three- 
score and fifteen soids. " This," he says, " is an 
" error : for it is written in Gen. xlvi. that all the 
" souls of the house of Jacob which went down into 
" Egypt were threescore and ten ; and in this 
" number of seventy is comprehended Joseph with 
" his two sons. Likewise in Deut. x. Thij fathers 
" went down into Egypt, threescore and ten per- 
" sons '^." I answer. These different numbers depend 
wholly upon the manner of computation. There are 
two different ways of computing in Gen. xlvi. The 
one includes those descendants of Jacob only who 
went down with him into Egypt, and then the 
number is sixty-six. The other includes himself, 
together with Joseph and the sons which were born 
to him in Egypt, and then the number is seventy. 

y Deut. V. 15. Deut. xiv. i. 3. compared with Lev, xix. 28. and 
xi. Deut. xvi. comp. with Exod. xii. and xxiii. Vid. Deut. xxii. 
and xxiv. ' B//3X6« KarccKKay^^. Thes. 7. p. 45, &c. 

^ Vid. Whitby in loc. ^ V^id. Exod. xxiii. 25. 

'^ Chiz. Em. p. 2. c. 63. 


In the LXX translation of this place the number is 
seventy-five ; and if we may suppose that St. Stephen 
made his quotation tlience, it is an easy matter to 
say how the computation arises to that number. For 
in the LXX translation are added a son and grand- 
son of Manasseh '^, two sons and a grandson of E- 
phraim ^. Now although it should be allowed that 
St. Austin's opinion is true, that Jacob's descent into 
Egypt comprehends in it the seventeen years that 
he lived there ^, yet is it no more than barely pos- 

'^ Machir his son, and Gilead his grandson. 
^ Sutalaam and Taam sons, and Edom a grandson. 
^ Quoted by Patr. in Gen. xlvi. 12. The reason of it is, the dif- 
ficulty of accounting for the sons of Pharez. If Judah married 
not till after Joseph was sold, it is not possible Pharez should 
have two sons when Jacob descended into Egypt. Compare Gen. 
xli. 46. and xxx. 25. and xxxvii. 2. and xxxviii. i. Some suppose, 
among whom is archbishop Usher, that Jacob was married before 
he had served the first seven years ; and although this seems con- 
trary to the express words of Gen. xxix. 20, 21. 27. 30. yet the 
difficulty there is, to conceive how so many children could be 
born in the order in which they are said to have been born, in 
seven years' time, has compelled them to make that supposition. 
The thing however may be conceived thus : Leah had her first 
four children in forty months' time. She then remained without 
conception fifteen months. Dan was born one month after the 
forty were expired, and Naphtali ten months after him. Gad was 
born one month after Naphtali, and Asher about ten or eleven 
months after Gad. Issachar was born one month or two after 
Asher. Ten months after was born Zebulon, and ten months 
after, Dinah. This, it must be owned, is quick work ; (but we 
have not wanted examples of the like in our own times 3) and 
the computation makes seven years. 

40 months Leah had her four first children, 

15 months without conception, 
9 months after had Issachar, 

10 months after had Zebulon, 

10 months after Dinah. 

84 months, or seven years. 


sible that these five persons, descended from Ma- 
nasseh and Ephraim, should have a right to be in- 
cluded in this reckonings. I cannot therefore per- 
suade myself that St. Stephen took this number from 
the LXX. Both the calculations I have mentioned 
exclude Jacob's sons' wives ; for they are expressly 
excepted in the twenty-sixth verse. It appears 
highly probable to me that St. Stephen in his calcu- 
lations takes them in : for his words are, that Joseph 
sent and called his father Jacob to him, and all his 
kindred ^ ; which kindred amounted to threescore 
and fifteen souls. It is sufficiently evident from the 
expression, that Joseph and his two sons, as well as 
his father Jacob, are here excluded. The number 
without these is, as you have heard, sixty-six. Now 
if we only suppose that four of the patriarchs had by 
this time lost their wives, which is no unreasonable 
supposition, for we read that Judah's wife was dead ; 

s Joseph was but fifty-seven years of age when his father died. 
He married not till after thirty, Gen. xli. 46. 50. Supposing that 
he had Manasseh at thirty years of age and ten months ; and ten 
months after had Ephraim ; that Ephraim had a son at twelve 
Years and nine months old, and his son also had a son at twelve 
years and nine months : these, added together, make fifty-seven 
years and two months. And to admit this, we must suppose that 
which is very highly improbable, viz. that Manasseh and Ephraim, 
and their two eldest sons, were all married at about twelve years 
of age. 

'' The word a-ir^evdav, here made use of, will very well bear 
this signification : for in the LXX translation, a father's brother's 
wife is called o-i^yyev^?. Lev. xviii. 14. and xx. 20. And thus kin- 
dred by affinity, and particularly sons-in-law, are termed by 3o- 
sephus ; of which you may see various instances in Kidder's Dem. 
vol. 2. p. 230. So that there is not the least need of the remark 
of Gussetius, that Jacob's sons might possibly follow the senti- 
ments of Abraham, Isaac, and Rebecca, and take them wives from 
those who were their relations by consanguinity. 


and it is not improbable that Reuben's being with- 
out a wife was the occasion of his committing incest 
with his father's concubine; I say, if we suppose 
that four of them had buried their wives, there were 
seven now living to accompany Jacob into Egypt ; 
to which if we add the wife of Pharez the son of 
Judah, and the wife of Beriah the son of Asher \ 
these nine, added to the sixty-six, amount to the 
seventy-five persons computed by St. Stephen. Or 
if we take it for granted that Hezron and Hamul 
the sons of Pharez, were not born till some time 
after Jacob's arrival in Egypt, which is the opinion 
of many learned men, and that upon no unreason- 
able grounds ^^; the number of persons proceeding 
out of Jacob's loins, which actually went down with 
him into Egypt, were sixty-four; to which if we 
add the ten wives of Jacob's sons, (Judah's wife be- 
ing dead,) and the wife of Beriah the son of Asher, 
this makes the number of persons who were Jacob's 
kindred, and went down with him into Egypt, se- 
venty-five ; as is asserted by St. Stephen. And that 
Joseph sent and called the wives of his brethren, is 
evident from the history in Genesis, where it is ex- 
pressly said, that Pharaoh coiumanclecl Joseph to 
take waggo7is for the little ones, and the wives of 
his brethren, and that Joseph acted accordingly ^ 

' Because Pharez and Beriah are said to have two children 
each, which are numbered in the list of names, Gen. xlvi. 

^ If these were born before Jacob's descent into Egypt, we 
must suppose that, quite contrary to the usual practice of those, 
and indeed of all times, Judah himself, and his two sons, Er and 
Onan, as also his son Pharez, were married at the age of about 
twelve or thirteen years. 

' Gen. xlv. i8, 19. 21. and xlvi, 5. 
N n 4 


The learned Surenhusius has justly observed that 
additions to and subtractions from genealogies are 
not uncommon in the Old Testament, and that the 
very same reasonings whereby the Jews themselves 
account for these alterations will perfectly well an- 
swer such as are found in the New Testament ™. 

There are several objections made to the words 
immediately following verses 15, 16. So Jacob went 
down into Egijpt^ and died, he and ou?' fathers, 
and were carried over into Sichem, and laid in the 
sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money 
of the sons of Emmor the son of Sichem. Rabbi 
Isaac charges these words of St. Stephen with no 
less than five mistakes. He asserts, " that Jacob 
" was not buried in Sichem, but in the cave of Mac- 
" pelah, which is in Hebron : that the fathers, that 
" is, the heads of the tribes, were buried in Egypt, 
" Joseph only excepted, who was buried at Sichem, 
" in part of the field which Jacob bought of Hamor 
" the father of Sichem for one hundred pieces of 
" money : that Abraham bought not Sichem, but 
" only the cave of Macpelah, which is in Hebron ; 
" and that he bought it not of the sons of Hamor 
" the son of Sichem, but of Ephron the Hittite : 
" that it was Jacob who bought part of the field 
" which is in Sichem, and not Abraham. And 
" whereas it is said he bought it of the sons of Ha- 
" mor the son of Sichem, it ought to be said, of the 
" father of Sichem. All which things are manifestly 
" deduced from the twenty-second, thirty-third, forty- 
" ninth, and fiftieth chapters of Genesis, and the 
" end of the book of Joshua." He adds, " All this 

f" Vid. B/^. KUToK. de Genealog. Thes. x. and in Matt. i. 17. 


" shews the unskilfulness of the disciples and apo- 
" sties of Jesus in the words of the Law and the 
" Prophets "." 

But it will be very obvious to any one, upon the 
least consideration, that four out of the five objec- 
tions here made are without all manner of founda- 
tion. First of all, St. Stephen does not affirm that 
Jacob was buried at Sichem ; and, secondly, there 
is not the least proof that the fathers, or the heads 
of the tribes, Avere buried in Egypt. Rabbi Isaac 
says it ; but we have no more than his bare assertion 
for it : and had he given us proof of it, he must also 
have shewn that they were not afterwards taken up 
and carried into the land of Canaan, together with 
the bones of their brother Joseph. For is it not 
most reasonable to believe that they had each of 
them the same desire of being carried into the land 
of Canaan, as had their father Jacob, and their bro- 
ther Joseph? The Jewish historian Josephus ex- 
pressly tells us that they were buried in the land of 
Canaan «. So does rabbi Solomon Jarchi, a noted 
Jewish writer p ; as also does the author of the Life 
of Moses, another Jew ^ ; and the Talmud itself''; 
and St. Jerom speaks of their sepulchres as what 
were to be seen near Sichem in his time ^ Again, 
thirdly, St. Stephen does not affirm that Abraham 
bought Sichem, but a sepulchre. Nor, in the fourth 
place, does he say that Emmor was the son of Si- 

" Chiz. Em. p. 2. c. 63. 

.° Antiq. 1. 2. c. 8. §. 2. et de Bell. 1. 4. c. 9. §. 7. 
P Vid. Whitby in loc. 

^ Quoted by Gusset. Ver. Sal. P. i. p. 335. n. 70. 
"■ Hieros. Sotah, fol. 17, 3. et Gloss, in Bavakama, fol. 92, i. 
cited by Liglitf. vol. 2. p. 668. ' Epitaph. Paulae. 


chem. On the contrary, the Greek words are very 
rightly rendered by our translators, the father of 
Sichem. The Jewish rabbi, it is probable, was here- 
in deceived by some translation, wherein it was mis- 
takenly rendered son of Sichem. 

The only difficulty to be accounted for is. Where- 
fore is it said that Abraham bought the sepulchre of 
the sons of Emmor, the father of Sichem, when it 
appears from the history that he bought it of Ephron 
the Hittite ? In answer to this I would observe to 
you, that it was usual with the Hebrews, when re- 
citing the history of their forefathers to their bre- 
thren, to do it in the briefest manner, because it 
was a thing well known to them. For which reason 
they made use of frequent ellipses, that is, defective 
speeches, and gave but hints to bring to their re- 
membrance what they aimed at ^ This is the case 
in the verses before us ; and as nothing is more easy 
than to supply the words that are here wanting, so, 
when supplied, the narration is exactly agreeable to 
the history delivered in the Old Testament : Jacob 
went down into Egypt^ and died, he and our fa- 
thers ; and our fathers were carried over into Si- 
chem, and they were laid, that is, some of them ", 

' Vid. Lightf. vol. I. p. 781, 7S2. vol. 2, p. 668. and Surenhus. 
in loc. 

" This sentence is to be taken distributively. Of such sen- 
tences there are frequent instances in the Old Testament. Thus 
Neh. xiii. i, 2. 1/ was found written, that the Ammonite and the 
Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever ; 
because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with 
water, but hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them : 
whereas, according to the history, it was the Moabite alone that 
hired lialaam. See Numb. xxii. 5. Josh. xxiv. 9. So Jer. xxi, 7. 
/ will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the 


Jacob at le